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DRAFT PICKS DISCUSSION

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On 4/27/2020 at 11:51 AM, bigben07MVP said:

Funchess ran a 4.70 and Kelvin ran a 4.61 though.

Unfortunately, I feel like this is the range that guys are saying Claypool plays like. No one seems to see the 4.41 speed in game. I am getting a little worried that he isnt going to be able to shake people off vertically and accelerate past them with the more that I read. That doesn't mean he cant find success in the league, but if he cant be a deep threat in some capacity, this is a fairly wasted pick because he will just be a bigger version of what we already have 4 of on the team. 

I have high hopes that NFL coaching can unlock a little more than college which usually just cares that you are athletic and let's the learning end there. Really sucks we might not have an off-season though. 

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59 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

Unfortunately, I feel like this is the range that guys are saying Claypool plays like. No one seems to see the 4.41 speed in game. I am getting a little worried that he isnt going to be able to shake people off vertically and accelerate past them with the more that I read. That doesn't mean he cant find success in the league, but if he cant be a deep threat in some capacity, this is a fairly wasted pick because he will just be a bigger version of what we already have 4 of on the team. 

I have high hopes that NFL coaching can unlock a little more than college which usually just cares that you are athletic and let's the learning end there. Really sucks we might not have an off-season though. 

You also have to consider the ND QB issues. W/ better QB play, maybe it looks totally different for Chase on the field. If a QB is constantly underthrowing you, all your catches are going to look contested on film. He certainly has work to do as a route runner, but that’s something the Steelers have historically been good at - developing young WRs - so hopefully they can develop him into a better route runner.

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58 minutes ago, turtle28 said:

You also have to consider the ND QB issues. W/ better QB play, maybe it looks totally different for Chase on the field. If a QB is constantly underthrowing you, all your catches are going to look contested on film. He certainly has work to do as a route runner, but that’s something the Steelers have historically been good at - developing young WRs - so hopefully they can develop him into a better route runner.

QB play is going to have more to do with production than tape. If you cant separate from guys down the field, doesn’t really matter where the ball ends up, you can see that struggle before the ball even Leaves the QBs hands. The ability to separate even shows up on plays when the ball doesn’t get thrown your way. 

The good news here is that if he does struggle to separate, he can absolutely slide into the Ebron #2TE/Big Slot and have tremendous success...the bad news would be that’s not what this team needs right now and that still means we have a core of receivers who are all largely the same. 

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2 hours ago, Dcash4 said:

Unfortunately, I feel like this is the range that guys are saying Claypool plays like. No one seems to see the 4.41 speed in game. I am getting a little worried that he isnt going to be able to shake people off vertically and accelerate past them with the more that I read. That doesn't mean he cant find success in the league, but if he cant be a deep threat in some capacity, this is a fairly wasted pick because he will just be a bigger version of what we already have 4 of on the team. 

I have high hopes that NFL coaching can unlock a little more than college which usually just cares that you are athletic and let's the learning end there. Really sucks we might not have an off-season though. 

Ive decided my comp for Claypool is Evan Engram. The only thing different about them is where the lineup on the field. Engram looks a little faster on tape too but they are really similar.

 

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That’s a good comp @bigben07MVP  

I don’t think Claypool transitioning to “TE” is a bad thing. I look at TE in football a lot like PF in basketball. It’s a bit of a dying, pure position because of where the money is and how the game is played. I see TE going the way of the “stretch 4” and finding more athletic ways to incorporate the position. Claypool fits that mold, but it would be better for the team if he worked out as a deep threat we desperately need. 

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Physically, you can compare him to Martavis Bryant.

Martavis Bryant

6’3 3/4” 211 lbs 4.42 40-yard dash

39” vertical

124” broad jump

 

Chase Claypool

6’4” 238 lbs 4.42 40-yard dash

40.5” vertical

126” broad jump

 

He does not have the open field cutting of Bryant, but is stronger.

Here is a good film breakdown on Claypool.

https://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2020/5/1/21240840/steelers-film-room-chase-claypool-is-not-a-one-trick-pony-notre-dame-2020-nfl-draft-news

What is showed was a lot of short routes.  It also shows a lot of acceleration once he gets the ball.  I want to find some games where he run long routes.

Quote

Chase Claypool is a viable NFL WR without running a single deep route. This isn’t a Martevis Bryant or Sammie Coates, it isn’t even Mike Wallace. Chase Claypool runs a ton of routes, and brings intelligent route running to all of them. he needs to work on the mechanics of route running, like almost every single rookie WR, but he is already competent at running the route tree.

 

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1 hour ago, Dcash4 said:

That’s a good comp @bigben07MVP  

I don’t think Claypool transitioning to “TE” is a bad thing. I look at TE in football a lot like PF in basketball. It’s a bit of a dying, pure position because of where the money is and how the game is played. I see TE going the way of the “stretch 4” and finding more athletic ways to incorporate the position. Claypool fits that mold, but it would be better for the team if he worked out as a deep threat we desperately need. 

I’ve always thought that it’s best for Claypool to make the switch to a big slot/off the line of scrimmage TE too. He still has a lot of work to do on his route running to be that too, he relied on his speed and size a lot in college, not his route running. 
 

If he can really improve his route running, he could be a Vernon Davis type player, Evan Ingram type player or a faster version of Jordan Reed. I made this argument in the Redskins forum since January that the Redskins should draft him if he’s available in round 3 and move him to TE to replace Jordan Reed.

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A follow up article where people are hoping Claypool is the next Alien

https://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2020/5/5/21242727/why-chase-claypool-is-the-next-martavis-bryant-for-the-pittsburgh-steelers-nfl-news-2020-nfl-draft

Two great comments that were made:
 

Quote

 

Why he isn't

1). The tape

…I appreciate your effort with this article friend, but I strongly disagree with the "Claypool can be our new Martavis!" sentiment. Measurables or not they just aren’t similar players. Bryant was an all or nothing big play machine on tape, both in college and the pros, who made his impact by gaining huge separation downfield and on intermediate routes. He was a highlight reel machine, but he struggled a lot to make routine plays, and even appeared disinterested in the nitty gritty stuff. He was always a me first diva of a player, and a total dingbat off the field.

Claypool is almost the exact opposite. He doesn’t get separation, he isn’t a deep route specialist, and even his big plays aren’t really highlight reel worthy. However, he absolutely thrives on the routine plays. He makes almost all of the basic plays, including lots of short and intermediate work. The nitty gritty is his specialty. Hell, the dude was a special teams ace as Notre Dame’s defacto #1 receiver. Claypool is a team first player and a dude who oozes with humility.

The measurables may be similar, but the players are not. I really want us to put the Bryant/Claypool comparisons to bed before they run even more rampant than they already are. Claypool is not going to give us the same stuff Bryant did. In some ways he will be better, in others maybe not as much. But they’re very different players and very different men.

Also…we are going to need to have patience with Claypool. He’s extremely raw. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him have a James Washington esque first season or two. It will take time for him to adjust to the NFL game. If people expect him to come in and have the immediate impact Bryant did they’re going to be disappointed.

 

And comparing him to Engrim

Quote

 

I know Steeler fans don’t like the idea of Engram because he has been so misused on a terrible Giants team, but the guy has 1st round talent. His rookie year (when they actually threw him the ball) he had 64 receptions for 722 yards and 6 TD’s. That’s dangerously close to pro bowl numbers. And if you put him with a good QB he would be even better. I believe that is (eventually) where Claypool will end up and how he will be used.

Combine:

Engram = 6’3", 234 pounds, 33.5" arms, 10" hands, 4.42 forty, 36" vert
Claypool = 6’4", 238 pounds, 32.5" arms, 9" hands, 4.42 forty, 41" vert

I know what Colbert said. I watched the interview just like everybody else. But Colbert also said Timmons was an edge rusher (and we all saw how that worked out). People get so caught up in their pre-conceived notions, it kind of pisses me off. He played "outside WR" at Notre Dame, therefore he must play "outside WR" in the NFL. He didn’t get "a ton of separation" in college, therefore he will never get "a ton of separation" in the NFL. He didn’t play up to his "timed speed" in college, therefore he is only capable of running a 4.7 in the NFL. I call BS on all of that. (No offense, JimV)

The problem with Chase Claypool is not so much WHO he is, but WHERE he is. If you actually watch him on tape, he moves much more like a receiving TE than an outside WR. That’s fine. PLAY HIM THERE. Watch him get separation against LB’s and SS’s, and THEN we’ll have a conversation about whether he’s a receiving TE. Watch him block better than Ebron or Gentry and THEN we’ll have a conversation about whether he’s receiving TE.

My hope is that Matt Canada will be able to convince Tomlin/Fichtner/Colbert to at least TRY lining up Claypool in different positions to achieve different matchups. If I’m the Steelers, I put JuJu in the slot with Claypool offset (opposite side) and Diontae + Washington on the outsides. Then see how defenses react. If they go dime package, check down to a run play, and let JuJu + Claypool block the hell out of the safeties. If they go with the extra LB, send Claypool straight up the middle to occupy the free safety, and send JuJu crossing underneath.

You don’t have to weigh 250 pounds to play receiving TE in the NFL. 240 pounds is fine, especially if you’re physical (like Claypool is). The NFL is about mismatches. The Steelers need to use Claypool’s size/speed to exploit the opponent’s weaknesses. And I believe that will be done best on the inside. Not the outside.

 

 

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@jebrick that 2nd quote was my exact thoughts. When you throw on EE highlights I can completely envision Claypool lining up and doing the same type of damage EE does from the same spots. They legit look and move like the same exact player on film. I have a harder timing seeing Claypool be able to consistently win outside against NFL corners. Not saying he can’t develop into that guy but I just see an easier transition for him being an Engram type of player. And I mean this in a good way, I am a huge fan of Engram. Without injuries and better QB play he’s easily a top 5 TE.

I think Claypool is more of a threat to Ebron’s role/spot in 2021 than JuJu’s.

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I saw that Engram comment on BTSC and I immediately thought it was a someone here posting over there. Also, I'm really liking BTSC's content of late. I used to be kind of lukewarm towards them, but they've stepped it up. 

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2 hours ago, bigben07MVP said:

@jebrick that 2nd quote was my exact thoughts. When you throw on EE highlights I can completely envision Claypool lining up and doing the same type of damage EE does from the same spots. They legit look and move like the same exact player on film. I have a harder timing seeing Claypool be able to consistently win outside against NFL corners. Not saying he can’t develop into that guy but I just see an easier transition for him being an Engram type of player. And I mean this in a good way, I am a huge fan of Engram. Without injuries and better QB play he’s easily a top 5 TE.

I think Claypool is more of a threat to Ebron’s role/spot in 2021 than JuJu’s.

Definitely agree. I fell into the MB comparison too because they look very similar on paper. Their games are vastly different, though. Claypool is going to feast on short routes but he'll need to learn more technique on his deep routes. He's got great body control and physicality so I'm hoping it's something he can learn with NFL coaches. 

https://steelersdepot.com/2020/05/film-room-chase-claypool-shows-what-he-can-do-during-senior-bowl-practices/

Here's another link to some film of his at the Senior Bowl. Shows how well he beats the press and how crisp his short routes are. He's definitely interesting. 

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I kinda like the Kittle comp.  Not sure who put it out there.

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16 minutes ago, Chieferific said:

I kinda like the Kittle comp.  Not sure who put it out there.

He definitely blocks with the same demeanor as Kittle. 

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9 minutes ago, bigben07MVP said:

He definitely blocks with the same demeanor as Kittle. 

He's already a better blocker than Ebron. 

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Posted (edited)

@jebrick I like the Evan Ingram comp for Claypool, or a faster Jordan Reed, I've always felt that way. The only thing I’d point out to that poster on the steel curtain blog is that Evan Ingram has been injured almost every year since he was drafted, he's becoming Jordan Reed like a for the Giants In that regard which isn't good.

So, just looking at raw stats like that guy probably did doesn't tell the whole story.

Ingram has missed 13 games over the last two years for the Giants.

Edited by turtle28

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