When it come to the Steelers wide receiver corps for the coming 2014 season there is one thing for certain and that is Pro Bowl and team MVP wide receiver Antonio Brown.Brown may be the only familiar face in the starting lineup when the 2014 season kicks off.
Last years familiar faces have found new teams as the winds of free agency have taken them away.
Gone is Emmanuel Sanders, 10 starts last season, 67 catches, 740 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Gone is Jerricho Cotchery, 6 starts last season, 46 catches, and 10 touchdowns.
So Steeler Nation, where do the Steelers go from here? What is left as far as proven starter capable wide receivers…. Here are where the question marks begin.
First off will last years’ 3rd round draft pick wide receiver Markus Wheaton step up into Emmanuel Sanders role?
Coaches and players alike sang Markus Wheaton‘s praises going into last season but two broken fingers limited his contribution in 2013 and may have stunted his learning experience as a rookie.
Wheaton had 6 total catches for 64 yards and has not caught an NFL touchdown yet.
There is reason for optimism in Markus Wheaton ,as all arrows seem to be pointing up. He seems to have the skills and a great mind set, but lacks experience. Nonetheless, he remains a question mark.
The Steelers just signed former New Orleans Saints receiver Lance Moore to a two year deal. Will Moore be able to step up and take over where Cotchery left off? Moore’s best season was in 2012 collecting 65 catches for 1041 yards, a 16 yards per catch average and 6 touchdowns.
Injuries plagued Moore last season and his stats plummeted,with him collecting only 37 catches for 457 yards and two touchdowns. Was this a case of the 30 year old Moore being just about out of gas? Or were the injuries a one time thing that he will rebound from?
The Steelers are banking on the latter.
More questions arise when it comes to what the Steelers may do in the 2014 draft.
Will the Steelers take a receiver in the first round of the 2014 draft? Two names that keep getting thrown around as possible picks are Mike Evans of Texas A&M and Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State. Both are big targets that many think can be game changers but will the Steelers take a chance on a wide receiver in a year they also have plenty other needs?
The bottom line is the Steelers’ receiving core is full of question marks, but on the positive side it was not long ago that Antonio Brown was a question mark.