Pittsburgh Steelers: Can Markus Wheaton Seize Starting Job?


As the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to enter the 2014 season after back-to-back 8-8 campaigns, one of the biggest position battles to pay attention to is who will claim the starting job at split end opposite Antonio Brown.

Sep 29, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Pittsburgh Steelers receiver

Markus Wheaton

(11) during the NFL International Series game against the Minnesota Vikings at Wembley Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Steelers 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Needless to say that Mike Tomin isn’t without options as the Steelers brought in guys like Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey via free agency and used a fourth-round pick in this month’s draft on Clemson’s tall target Martavis Bryant.

However, before it is all said and done expect Markus Wheaton to have a large say in who gets that spot.

Wheaton claiming a starting spot would be ideal for the Steelers as needless to say they expect a lot from the second-year pro.

Wheaton, their third-round pick in 2013, caught only six passes as a rookie. He also missed four games with a hand injury and had surgery after the season.

However with the Steelers losing three of their top receivers (Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery) in a 14-month span, it goes without saying that they need someone to step up in a big way.

Judging by his collegiate career and some nice signs during camp last season, Wheaton has the ability to be a playmaker in this Steelers offense.

He will be given the opportunity to do so. We will find out in July if he takes advantage of it.

If he does the Steelers will have a surprisingly deep wide receiver core for the upcoming season.

If the youngster doesn’t, he could once again find himself buried on the depth chart.