The Steelers have lost Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery in free agency, leaving the team with 113 catches to replace from last season’s offense.
The draft will likely bring some potential contributors in the passing game and Pittsburgh has signed Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey, but the Steelers will also be looking to one of last year’s draft choices to help fill the void. Markus Wheaton played 11 games after being selected in the third round, but caught just six passes and struggled with a broken finger. Wheaton had surgery to repair the injury after the season and coach Mike Tomlin said the team is looking for more from Wheaton in his second season.
“It’s tough to play wide receiver with broken fingers,” Tomlin said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I look forward to him taking a significant step for us. I know that we need him to.”
Antonio Brown and Heath Miller are the only real knowns as targets for Ben Roethlisberger at the moment, so the Steelers will need someone to step up to round out their passing attack. Wheaton has the most upside of any in-house contenders for the role, but potential will have to turn into results for Pittsburgh’s offense to thrive.