The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering a new era in 2022 without Ben Roethlisberger, but they hope Mitchell Trubisky and Kenny Pickett will be able to make a successful transition under center with the weapons Pittsburgh has placed around them. The Steelers have a rising star in the backfield in Najee Harris and also added a couple intriguing receivers in the draft, but the No. 1 wideout on the outside will be Chase Claypool.
The second-round pick out of Notre Dame burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2020, catching 62 passes for 873 yards and nine touchdowns. He took a small step backwards in his second season, catching 59 passes for 860 yards and just two touchdowns, but Claypool is confident Year 3 will be his breakout season.
During an appearance on the I AM ATHLETE podcast, Claypool talked about the upcoming 2022 season, and said he knows he's a top-three receiver in the league.
"My second year, I was a better football player than I was my first year," Claypool said. "The plays just didn't work out, some of the plays didn't go my way, I didn't make some plays I needed to make. But as a football player, understanding the game, knowing what to do, knowing where to be, I was better. So I'm gonna be better this year.
"I know for a fact, I'm not like the rest of the guys in the NFL. I know I'm a top-five receiver. I know I'm a top-three receiver."
When Claypool was asked to predict his "numbers" for next year, he responded, "We're gonna go 1,300 (receiving yards), 10-plus (touchdowns)."
"When I'm working, I'm like 'Aw, I'm a dog,'" said Claypool. "I'm gonna dog people lined up across from me, too. And I just gotta bring that confidence, and I gotta bring that spirit and I just gotta show the people, and it's gonna happen. And we're gonna rewind this and we're going to see this clip in a little bit and they're gonna be like, 'Damn, he was right.'"
The soon-to-be 24-year-old is undoubtedly a talented up-and-coming wide receiver in the NFL, but he's confident he's going to prove he's one of the best in the league at his position in 2022.