Before the NFL Draft at the end of April, all of the talk was about Ottawa native, Neville Gallimore who was eventually drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round. The hype was placed on the shoulders of the wrong Canadian.
Chase Claypool was born in Abbotsford, British Columbia in 1998. Before committing to Notre Dame in the NCAA for college, he played with Abbotsford Senior Secondary School in B.C. In 50 games at Notre Dame, Claypool raked up 2,619 yards in the air and 23 touchdowns. He would also run a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine before the draft. All of these things combined helped him get drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the draft.
In his NFL debut in the Monday night game against the New York Giants, Claypool made a dazzling catch on the sidelines that can be seen by clicking the link below.
When I saw this catch, I thought there was no chance that he caught that football. It is amazing that the throw was this on target to begin with, but it is even more impressive that Claypool was able to haul this one in.
Claypool will have some competition with another Canadian receiver who could be a star. N’Keal Harry was the final pick of the first round in the 2019 draft for the New England Patriots. Harry only caught the ball 14 times last season, but with that Patriots team as lacking as it is right now, Harry should have a bigger role on the team as we move forward. Despite being able to play, the quarterback for the Patriots isn’t known for his incredible passing abilities, but rather for taking off and running wherever possible.
That is one area that Claypool has a massive advantage. Ben Roethlisberger might be old and he might be coming off an injury that threatened to end his career, but he showed us that he can still be a very good quarterback on Monday night.
Having a good QB is huge for any wideout, but one thing working against Claypool is the depth of skill position players on the Steelers this season. Juju Smith-Schuster, James Washington, James Connor, Benny Snell, and Diontea Johson are all reasonably good threats for the Steelers to take advantage of this season. What Claypool will need to do is take advantage of his opportunities when the ball does come his way, and he did just that on Monday night.
Claypool possesses all the tools to be a good NFL receiver and reminds me a little of Mike Evans. Their physical attributes are almost identical and they are both the kind of guys that can do nearly anything you ask of them. Does this mean that Claypool will have a career like Evans? No, not at all. Evans has played six seasons in the NFL and has never failed to put up 1,000 yards. That expectation might be a little extreme for Claypool in this 2020 season, but he stands a chance to be that kind of guy when it is all said and done.
In week two, the Steelers will be hosting the depleted Denver Broncos. This should be a good chance for Claypool to have a solid game. He currently sits with two receptions for 39 yards, with 28 of those yards coming on that highlight-reel grab in week one.
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