Saturday, April 27, 2013
Steelers Go Deep: Draft Markus Wheaton in 3rd Round
The Steelers stayed on offense during the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft when they picked Oregon State wide Receiver Markus Wheaton in the third round.
In that respect, Wheaton has a bit of a pedigree, with the Steelers having drafted Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace, and Hines Ward in the third round (of course that was also the round they drafted Willie Reid, Derek Hill, and Charles Lockett… or if you want a middle of the road example, Andre Hastings.)
Wheaton is not the tall receiver that Ben Roethlisberger hopped to get standing at only 5’11” and weighing 182 pounds. Wheaton’s time at the NFL scouting combine in the 40 was 4.45, although Wheaton himself claims he can do it at 4.3 speed.
As Dale Lolley observes, if he can split the difference at 4.37 he’ll be fast enough to help the Steelers make up for the absence of Mike Wallace.
Markus Wheaton arrives in Pittsburgh having broken Oregon State’s receiving records and, again pointed out by Lolley, this is the school that produce Chad Johnson (or Ocho Cinco if you prefer, why not call himself ochenta y cinco?) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
The first challenge Wheaton will face in Pittsburgh is to carve himself out a spot on the depth chart.
Antonio Brown is entrenched as a starter, and Emmanuel Sanders remains the incumbent. Behind them are two seasoned veterans Jerricho Cotchery and Plaxico Burress. It is conceivable that Wheaton could cost one of the two his roster spot, probably Burress, but some of that will probably depend on the development of David Gilreath.
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