After filling two needs with their first two selections of the 2013 NFL Draft by selecting Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones and Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell, the Pittsburgh Steelers addressed another need in the third round.
With the No. 79 overall pick, the Steelers selected Oregon State wide receiver Markus Wheaton, to hopefully help fill the void created by the loss of Mike Wallace.
I like the pick of Wheaton as it is a good value pick for where the Steelers were selecting.
He’s very talented as NFL.com compares him to Antonio Brown, but unlike Brown, Wheaton has the ability to be a vertical threat.
Wheaton eclipsed both Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh as the Beavers all-time leader with 227 receptions. In 2012, Wheaton caught 91 passes for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior. He was projected as a third round pick and the Steelers pounced on him while he was available.
He made an impact on the Beavers’ offense in each of his four college seasons and really established himself as a productive and reliable receiver during his time in Corvallis. He was the Beavers’ primary offensive weapon as both a junior and senior, catching 164 balls and 12 touchdowns over the two-season span. Now, he’s looking to continue that high level of production at the next level.
Beyond his pure production, Wheaton also has the measurables that the Steelers covet. His height (5-foot-11) isn’t ideal, but he showed off the straight line speed (4.45-second 40-yard dash), quickness (6.80-second three-cone time) and leaping ability (37-inch vertical) at the NFL combine.
The Steelers love premier physical prospects on the outside and should be enticed by Wheaton’s toughness, work ethic and overall character.
His biggest asset is his quickness, which makes him dangerous.
A final big thing about Wheaton is that he has the ability to play outside or in the slot. Being able to play outside is big as it could allow the Steelers to move Emmanuel Sanders back to the slot, where he is more dangerous.
Steelers fans should be thrilled with this pick.