Steelers take Notre Dame receiver Chase Claypool with 49th overall pick

Tribune Content Agency

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers used their first pick in the NFL draft on Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool, giving them a big, physical receiver who can help strengthen what was one of the league’s lowest-scoring offenses in the second half of the 2019 season.

Claypool, who was selected with the 49th overall pick, is a 6-foot-4, 238-pound receiver who ran a sub-4.45 at the NFL combine.

Coupled with new tight end Eric Ebron (6-4, 253), Claypool will give Ben Roethlisberger a couple of big targets when he returns in attempt to bolster an offense that scored only 10 touchdowns in the final 10 games. The Steelers were also the only team to not score at least 30 points in any game in 2019.

The second round did not get off to a good start for the Steelers because of the run on receivers.

The Cincinnati Bengals cut into the crop of available receivers when they selected Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins to start the second round, giving No. 1 pick Joe Burrow an additional deep threat to go with A.J. Green.

Then the Indianapolis Colts followed with the 34th selection by taking USC’s Michael Pittman, a 6-4 wide receiver who had 101 receptions last season with the Trojans. Eight picks later, the Jacksonville Jaguars took Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr., a multi-dimensional receiver who had the diverse skills the Steelers coveted.

Penn State’s KJ Hamler became the fourth wide receiver to be selected in the second round when he went to the Denver Broncos with the 46th pick, three spots ahead of the Steelers.

That left the Steelers to select Claypool, who had 66 catches for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns last season at Notre Dame.

The Steelers have a compensatory pick in the third round, 102nd overall, and will have four more picks on Saturday, including two in the fourth round.


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