Day two of the 2013 NFL draft finished in a flurry, and for the Pittsburgh Steelers it ended strong, as the Steelers used their third round draft pick to address their need at wide receiver that this offseason has created. After letting wide receiver Mike Wallace leave via free agency, the Steelers nearly lost another in Emmanuel Sanders. As it stands, this team at minimum needs a third wide receiver and could need a starter as soon as 2014.
So with the 79th pick in the draft the Steelers took Oregon State wide receiver Markus Wheaton. Wheaton finished 2012 with 91 catches, 11 touchdowns and a very good 13.7 yards per reception to go along with his 1,244 yards. For his career, Wheaton has over 225 catches, so it’s clear experience is a strength. Wheaton is an impressive mix of quickness and straight line speed that reminds many of former Steelers receiver Wallace.
My take-There was a serious run on receivers in the third round, so when the Steelers pick came up I was happy to see Wheaton still on the board. As players kept coming off the board I started to wonder who would be left, and I’m very pleased Wheaton slid. His game is very complete, he’s been highly productive on a team without a lot of talent around him, and shows tremendous consistency in getting open, getting deep and making catches. The Steelers did a great job on Day Two of upgrading their offensive skill players for the long term. Wheaton can run all the routes, understands how to manipulate zone defenses and is fearless against man coverage.