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Steelers All 90: WR/KR Ray-Ray McCloud



All 90 is a Pittsburgh Steelers Now series profiling each of the 90 members of the Steelers 2021 offseason roster.

14 • Ray-Ray McCloud, fourth-year wide receiver/kick returner
5-foot-9, 190 pounds

Acquired: Signed by the Steelers as a street free agent on Aug. 21, 2020 and re-signed with the team for 2021.

Last season: One of only seven Steelers offensive players to appear in all 16 games, McCloud quickly established himself as a viable two-way threat in Pittsburgh.

Serving as the team’s No. 5 wide receiver, McCloud hauled in 20 catches on 22 targets for 77 yards and also took four handoffs for 65 yards.

But he made his biggest impact in the return game, where he averaged 10.3 yards per punt return and 23.1 yards per kickoff return. McCloud led the team with 1,086 all-purpose yards, and was one of only two Pittsburgh players to cross the 1,000-yard plateau, along with Diontae Johnson.

Career:Drafted in the sixth round by the Buffalo Bills in 2018, McCloud played in 10 games as a rookie, but was used sparingly, with six pass targets, two carries and 22 total returns.

Before the 2019 season, the Bills waived McCloud and he was claimed by the Carolina Panthers. McCloud played six games in Carolina, exclusively being used as a kick returner, before again being waived. He finished the season on the Bills’ practice squad. Buffalo cut McCloud on July 27, 2020 at the start of training camp.

College: McCloud spent three seasons as a regular part of the Clemson wide receiver rotation, sharing playing time with the likes of Deon Cain, Tee Higgins, Hunter Renfrow and Mike Williams, as the Tigers won three straight ACC titles and a national championship after the 2016 season.

McCloud finished his college career after his junior year with 1,226 yards on 127 catches and four touchdowns.

Camp outlook: McCloud appears to be in line for much the same role he had in 2020, with the entire wide receivers room returning intact, but new offensive coordinator Matt Canada may make greater use of McClouds breakaway speed in the offense, as plays like wide receiver screens and sweeps have been hallmarks of Canada’s play-calling schemes in the past.

Future: McCloud will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

The rest of the 90: