Pittsburgh Steelers: Will Markus Wheaton Emerge as Threat in 2014?

By Alec Riffe
Markus Wheaton Pittsburgh Steelers
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver Markus Wheaton had a terrible rookie year for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Drafted in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Wheaton had a rocky start for Pittsburgh recording only six catches in 12 games.

While fairly talented, Wheaton has not yet lived up to the hype on the field. The Steelers have been known for drafting receivers later in the draft and developing them into stars, shown by the success of Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, all of whom were drafted after the second round.

It’s way too early to give up on Wheaton, especially because he was blocked last year by Brown, Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery. Wheaton has thus far been a student of the game and has been picking the brain of veteran receiver Lance Moore.

He will be given an opportunity in training camp this year to make an impact and earn the No. 2 receiver role. I think it’s likely he’ll make the leap to prominence and be a solid player this upcoming season. He possesses all the skills to succeed and has great mentors in Brown and Moore.

Wheaton has a similar skill set to Antonio Brown, which could be both good and bad. It’s good because Brown will be able to help him come into his own as a receiver in the Steelers’ offense. It’s bad because generally you want different kinds of receivers for different situations.

Hopefully Wheaton can continue to improve and not turn into another Limas Sweed; the Steelers could really use solid wide receiver help in 2014.

Alec Riffe covers the Pittsburgh Steelers for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alecbama, like him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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