Wide receiver may not feel like a top need for the Pittsburgh steelers in the 2022 NFL draft but if we project free-agent losses of both James Washington and JuJu Smith-Schuster, the picture changes a great deal. Let’s take a look at the top six wide receiver prospects in the upcoming draft Pittsburgh could consider.
Chris Olave, Ohio State
At this point, Ohio State’s Chris Olave is the class of this wide receiver group. He’s the most complete prospect and would be the true No. 1 receiver the Steelers need. Olave can run all the routes, has consistent hands and more than enough athleticism to escape defenders and be a big-play threat.
Treylon Burks, Arkansas
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For some teams, Arkansas’ Trey Burks will be a better option due to his size and physicality. The Steelers are already supposed to have the guy who can post up defenders and make those contested catches but if Chase Claypool cannot be more consistent, a guy like Burks who carries the Razorbacks offense makes a ton of sense.
Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
Oct 23, 2021; Little Rock, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Treylon Burks (16) runs after a catch during the second quarter as Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions defensive back Nathan Seward (12) defends at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Chris Olave (2) runs the ball after a reception during the first quarter of a NCAA Division I football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Cfb Maryland Terrapins At Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson is another Buckeye prospect in this draft who excels at the technical parts of the game. Before the catch, Wilson is smart and fluid, able to find creases in the defense and exploit these voids.
John Metchie III, Alabama
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Sometimes the fastest guy wins. Alabama is known to churn out track star wideouts and John Metchie III is the latest. Don’t misunderstand, Metchie’s game is more than just speed but for the Steelers, having a guy who can truly pull the top off of a defense would be a huge asset.
Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama
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If you haven’t heard of South Alabama’s Jalen Tolbert, just give it some time. There are few players in this draft who can be as productive as Tolbert can be, even with almost no supporting cast. Tolbert is a class quick-twitch player with elite agility and quickness. Tolbert can line up in multiple spots and his ability to adjust to poorly thrown balls or contend with double teams makes him an ideal NFL prospect.
Zay Flowers, Boston College
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Versatility is such an important tool in the NFL. We see teams making excellent use of multi-tool guys who can impact the game as both a runner and receiver. This is what Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers can do. He’s a hybrid player who gives the offense a threat defenses must account for on every play.