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Who Steps Up for Steelers at WR after Chase Claypool Trade?



Steelers Miles Boykin Steven Sims Chase Claypool

The Pittsburgh Steelers made an unusual decision to start their season with seven wide receivers on the active roster back in August.

After Tuesday’s trade of top slot receiver Chase Claypool, that decisions seems like it’s going to pay off, as the Steelers have plenty of depth to work with at the position in order to deal with Claypool’s absence.

The best bet to replace Claypool in the starting lineup appears to be Steven Sims, who played a good bit out of the slot in Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Sims played eight snaps in the slot and three as an outside receiver.

George Pickens also moved inside a good bit, getting 12 snaps of slot play while Claypool worked outside. If that’s something the Steelers want to do more of, then they could call on Miles Boykin to work some outside snaps while Pickens moves into the slot.

Either way, the Steelers have an experienced and veteran option. Sims is in his fourth NFL season, with 63 career catches for 574 yards and five touchdowns. This is his second season in Pittsburgh. He spent most of 2021 on the practice squad after playing with the Washington Football Team for his first two seasons.

In addition to his receiving abilities, Sims has potential as a rushing threat on jet sweeps. He broke one for 38 yards against the Seattle Seahawks this preseason and ran twice for 21 yards against the Eagles. In his career, Sims has ran 13 times for 119 yards and a touchdown.

Boykin is also in his fourth season, with 34 catches for 481 yards and seven touchdowns, most of which came with the Baltimore Ravens, who took him in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame.
Boykin is probably the best blocker of the Steelers wide receivers and has been working in their short-yardage package as a result. Their backs could use help in that area, as the Steelers receivers have been the worst run-blockers in the league as a group, per PFF.

The Steelers also have special teams ace Gunner Olszewski at their disposal. Olszewski was not used much as a receiver in the New England Patriots offense, but impressed many in Pittsburgh with a strong showing this offseason, and has seemingly earned back the trust of the coaching staff after a couple of early fumbles in the return game.

If the Steelers feel they need more depth, Cody White is on the practice squad and eligible to be called up for the third consecutive season. The Steelers would need to clear a roster spot to add White, because Claypool’s place on the 53-man roster was taken by cornerback William Jackson III, who was acquired in a later trade on Tuesday.

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