Looking Ahead at the Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart: Wide Receivers

By Curt Popejoy
Antonio Brown
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Every move an NFL team makes has a reaction elsewhere on the roster. Such is the case with a league that operates on a hard salary cap. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, going into the 2013 NFL draft they were pressed very hard against that cap, and looking for breathing room. So it makes sense that some of the draft strategy could be to maneuver to save money. This might be what the Steelers did.

The Steelers added two wide receivers via the draft this year in Oregon State speedster Markus Wheaton and possession receiver Justin Brown from Oklahoma. This is in addition to the wide receivers already on the roster, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Plaxico Burress, Jericho Cotchery, David Gilreath, Kashif Moore, Derek Moye, and Bert Reed.

Now Steelers fans, if some of these names don’t sound familiar don’t be shocked. Many of these players didn’t see any time of the active roster in 2012, and I understand wanting to carry plenty of camp bodies, but by the time the season gets here, The Steelers will probably dress four, maybe five receivers, so here’s what I would like the Steelers wide receiver depth chart to look like this upcoming season.

WR1-Antonio Brown

WR2-Emmanuel Sanders

WR3-Markus Wheaton

WR4-Jericho Cotchery

WR5-Justin Brown

I understand that many fans have a soft spot for Burress bring on the roster, but it’s time to look to the future and that means a young, fast and athletic group. I give Cotchery the edge on the depth chart based on experience, but with Brown’s ability to return kicks and punts he’s going to be hard to keep off the opening day roster.

There’s always a chance one of the youngsters like Gilreath step up and unseat one of the above, but in terms of the group I think gives this team the best chance to win, it’s this one. If there is a surprise cut among those top five it could be Cotchery who, while solid has never really endeared himself to the team as far as the depth chart goes.

Curt covers the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL draft, and college football for Rant Sports. Connect with Curt on Twitter @nfldraftboard.

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