Pittsburgh Steelers position update: WR

August, 16, 2014
Aug 16
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This is the fourth in a series that takes a post-training camp look at every position on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Next up is wide receiver.

Wallace
Brown
Players on the roster: Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Martavis Bryant, Justin Brown, Derek Moye, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Kashif Moore, Lanear Sampson, James Shaw and C.J. Goodwin.

Projected starters: Brown and Wheaton. Brown emerged as an elite playmaker last season when he smashed the Steelers' season record for receiving yards with 1,499. Wheaton has the potential to be an upgrade over Emmanuel Sanders, who started opposite Brown in 2013. He just needs to play.

Projected number on 53-man roster: Five. It's hard to see the Steelers keeping six at the position since Dri Archer is listed as a running back and wide receiver. That leaves Moye and Heyward-Bey on the outside looking in though they still have time to make a move on Justin Brown, one of the five wideouts I have making the team.

Rookie watch: Martavis Bryant is the wild card of the group. The fourth-round pick had a good camp after a slow start to it, and it's obvious that the speedy 6-4, 220-pounder has the talent to help the Steelers right away. But Bryant started just one season at Clemson before leaving school early so his inexperience is a concern. Bryant is going to have to earn the trust of coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with his attention to detail and consistency.

What we learned in camp: The Steelers are giving Wheaton every opportunity to win the starting job, and they really need him to take advantage of it. Moore is no more than a No. 3 wide receiver at this stage of his career and Bryant isn't ready to start. The Steelers love Brown, who has made dramatic improvement after spending all of last season on the practice squad but he doesn't have the speed to start at this level. The Steelers are going to have to make some tough cuts at this position.

He said it: “I'm glad they are pushing me to take that spot. I obviously want that spot but there are a lot of good guys competing for that spot. There will be a lot of growth from that competition. I think with that growth I will prove that I can hold that spot down.” -- Wheaton on competing for the starting job opposite Antonio Brown.

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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