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Roman Wilson Discloses 3 WRs He Models His Game After

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Pittsburgh Steelers WR Roman Wilson

Given the Pittsburgh Steelers lack of depth at wide receiver, rookie Roman Wilson should see a lot of playing time in Year 1. That is not typical for a third-round rookie, even at wide receiver.

When the Steelers drafted Wilson, he earned all sorts of comparisons. He compared himself to one of Russell Wilson’s top targets, Tyler Lockett. But the comparison that Tony Pauline heard the Steelers view Wilson through is much more ambitious. According to Pauline, Wilson is viewed through a ‘Hines Ward lens’ within the Steelers organization as a tough player who wins between the numbers.

Wilson is a speedy dot on the football field, and he is a fantastic middle-of-the-field route runner who wins on overs and crossers throughout his tape at Michigan. Longtime analyst Greg Cosell thinks Wilson’s comp is Lockett.

“I watched a lot of Tyler Lockett and Hunter Renfrow this last season,” he told Jersey Jerry and Kevin Adams of the Steel Here podcast. “Especially right now, I just watch a lot of Puka Nacua. I just feel like, a guy who came in his first year, I want to emulate that. I think he’s a phenomenal player, phenomenal athlete, run great routes, and very physical.”

Chris Simms of NBC Sports envisions Wilson having a breakout rookie year that resembles what Puka Nacua of the Los Angeles Rams did in 2023. That would be a high goal to set, obviously.

“Two guys I think jump to me here, one would be Roman Wilson of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and him being able to play right away is a big part of this. And the other one is Jermaine Burton of the Cincinnati Bengals,” Simms said on his Unbuttoned podcast.

Nacua set records for the most receptions (105) and receiving yards (1,486) ever by a rookie in a season, but C.J. Stroud’s unbelievable rookie campaign granted him NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Both put up historic numbers, but Stroud led the Texans to the playoffs. Being a quarterback gave Stroud an edge, too. In any other year, Nacua would have won OROY. No one expected Nacua, who was a fifth-round pick out of BYU, to break out like he did in 2023.

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 in 2023. Wilson led the Wolverines in catches (48), yards (789) and touchdowns (12), as the clear top target in a very limited passing attack.

Wilson has embraced the ‘no block, no rock’ mantra that the Michigan coaches preached to him, and that might make him more than apt to earn parts of that comparison.

“I feel like if your mindset is to win a game, you’ll go out there and do whatever your coach asks you to do to win. At Michigan, for me, it was blocking. So, if I want to win a game, I’m going to go out there and block my ass off,” Wilson said.

All in all, Wilson will have a significant role in the offense, currently slotted in there as the WR2 in the group. They might add someone else to help fill in the gaps as well, but Wilson should play right away.

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