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Roman Wilson Could Be Hines Ward 2.0

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Pittsburgh Steelers WR Roman Wilson

Tony Pauline revealed shortly after the draft that Roman Wilson is viewed through a ‘Hines Ward lens’ within the Pittsburgh Steelers organization as a tough player who wins between the numbers.

That’s a gaudy comparison, but Wilson does share similar traits with the Steelers all-time leading receiver. Wilson consistently won on overs and crossers at Michigan, just like Ward did with Pittsburgh. He’s also not afraid to get his nose dirty and block. He lives by the motto “no block, no rock.”

Pro Football Focus analyst Bradley Locker noted that Wilson’s sure-handedness makes him particularly appealing: his two percent drop rate tied for 11th-lowest among FBS receivers with 65 or more targets.

Longtime Steelers beat writer Gerry Dulac thinks it’s premature to label Wilson as the next Hines Ward, but he does see similarities. He said as much during a recent appearance on the Rich Eisen Show.

“I’m with you Rich, I like Roman Wilson. You talk about a guy who is a perfect number two type of receiver, kind of a Hines Ward type with the physical nature of his game. He catches everything thrown at him, loves to play in traffic. That was Hines Ward’s signature. I’m not going to sit here and tell you ‘He’s going to be Hines Ward,’ but I like the draft pick,” Dulac said.

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Roman Wilson

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Roman Wilson at the team’s first day of OTAs, May 21, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Wilson played both inside and outside at Michigan, spending 91% of his time in the slot as a junior in 2022 and 65.5% of his time in the slot last season, per Pro Football Focus.

Inside or out, he was Michigan’s most productive receiver this season. Wilson led the Wolverines in catches (48), yards (789) and touchdowns (12), as the clear top target in a very limited passing attack.

Wilson believes he can be a No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL. In the meantime, however, the Steelers will need him to rise to the occasion and become the team’s No. 2 WR in his rookie season. That’s a gaping hole for the club right now.

“People say that I can’t be a number one receiver, and I feel like I definitely can be that guy. I feel like I’ve shown it, I’ve shown flashes of it, but with enough production, I feel like I can easily be that guy,” Wilson said on a podcast with former NFL wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. in April.

 

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Edward Carmichael
Edward Carmichael
June 10, 2024 9:51 am

as a true Steelers fan, Hines Ward was one of a kind wide receiver so if Roman Wilson can be another Hines Ward that would be great a physical wide receiver

Jesus Christani
Jesus Christani
June 10, 2024 10:01 am

Confidence and Production… Go get ’em, Roman…

Mahalo…

Plop
Plop
June 10, 2024 11:28 pm

Dude hasn’t even played a down yet.