Pro Football Focus has released their rankings of the top-32 receivers in the NFL, but the list appears to have a fairly glaring omission.
No Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers appeared in the rankings ahead of the 2021 season.
That’s right. No JuJu Smith-Schuster. No Diontae Johnson. No Chase Claypool.
While the yardage might not have been there, Smith-Schuster is coming off a 2020 campaign where he led the Steelers in receptions (97) and receiving touchdowns (nine), a career-high.
As for Johnson, he paced Pittsburgh in receiving yards with 923, while also snagging 88 catches and seven touchdowns. still, Johnson was plagued by drops last season, which could be hurting opinions of him league-wide.
Claypool posted a phenomenal rookie campaign a season ago. The Notre Dame product utilized his unique combination of size and speed to emerge as bonafide big play threat in Pittsburgh’s offense. Claypool led the club with eleven total touchdowns and averaged 14.1 yards per reception.
Considering the contributions of all three, it is hard to believe that none earned a nod as a top-32 receiver in football.
Another knock on their 2020 performances could be the Steelers’ quick-strike, short passing game. While the Steelers led the league in attempts, they were 15th in passing yards.
More variation and versatility in the passing game under new offensive coordinator Matt Canada should allow all three to flourish and change misconceptions that they are all one-trick ponies.
The AFC North did have three representatives on the list. Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry clocked in at No. 18 and 21, respectively, for the Browns. Pittsburgh native and Bengal pass catcher Tyler Boyd rounded out the rankings at No. 32. Former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown checked in at No. 24.