PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers gave quarterback Ben Roethlisberger another big target, selecting Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool in the second round of the NFL draft Friday night.
The 6-foot-4 Claypool caught 66 passes for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns last year for the Fighting Irish. He joins an offense in search of another playmaker following an eventful 2019 when the Steelers finished 8-8 after losing Roethlisberger to a right elbow injury at halftime of Week 2.
Roethlisberger, who turned 38 last month, is on schedule for a full recovery from surgery. Claypool gives Pittsburgh a big target on the outside to complement JuJu Smith-Schuster. This is the third time in four years the Steelers have used their second-round selection on a wide receiver. They took Smith-Schuster in 2017 and James Washington in 2018.
Pittsburgh’s passing game struggled in 2019 with Roethlisberger sidelined. The Steelers finished 28th in yards passing and 28th in touchdown passes while bouncing between Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges. Diontae Johnson led the team with 59 receptions as a rookie and no player caught more than five touchdowns.
Claypool averaged 15.7 yards per reception last year for Notre Dame and ran a 4.42 40-yard dash in the run-up to the draft.