Pittsburgh Steelers: Wide Receiver Markus Wheaton Should Crack Starting Lineup

By Curt Popejoy
Markus Wheaton
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Most Pittsburgh Steelers fans have ridden a roller coaster when it comes to which players will be playing wide receiver for the 2013 NFL season. First they lost wide receiver Mike Wallace via free agency, then they almost lost fellow wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. They interviewed some free agents, but in the end the Steelers chose to wait. And boy am I glad they did, as they got one of the best values of the 2013 NFL draft with Oregon State wide receiver Markus Wheaton in the third round.

Wheaton wasn’t a huge name in draft circles, but all you had to do was go back to the Oregon State games, especially from the past two seasons and understand the potential that he has.  The Steelers lost an excellent deep threat in Wallace, but in Wheaton they have a player who nearly matches the speed of Wallace but with a tremendous work ethic and most polished game.

The only real player on the roster that Wheaton has to beat out is Sanders, and with his future in doubt beyond this season, I would like to think that Wheaton has a more than fair shot to win a starting spot. But if the worst he does is lock down the WR3 spot, he’s going to see plenty of reps on the Steelers offense. Wheaton is a hard worker, supremely talented, and by all accounts a high character player. These are all things that will endear him to the Steelers in a hurry. Once Wheaton steps on the field and starts getting worked into the offense, Steelers fans are going to be very glad to see just what the Steelers got with the 79th pick.

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

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