On paper, the Steelers had one of their best drafts in recent memory. Still, with training camp a couple months off, they’re looking for depth at wide receiver. Mike Wallace is taking his sweet time signing his tender, but I expect him to eventually put pen to paper. Then there’s Antonio Brown, Manny Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery. And that was the depth chart until Pittsburgh used a seventh-round pick on Colorado wideout Toney Clemons.
Having never seen (or heard of) Clemons, I reflexively pegged him as a camp body and, best-case scenario, a candidate for the practice squad. But after reading CBSSports.com’s Chuck Finder, I’m thinking the Steelers may have stumbled onto another late-round gem. First, the details from Finder:
“Toney Clemons, who transferred from Michigan to Colorado and played for four head coaches, is just finding himself. Look at ‘Southern Cal and Utah [tape], it jumps off the screen at you,’ coach Mike Tomlin said of two of Clemons’ final four collegiate games. ‘He made some combat catches downfield with DBs in position.’”
So that’s what I did — took a look at the USC and Utah tape. This ain’t Lee Mays 2.0:
More from Finder:
“Clemons has height (6-2), drive, personality and athletic ability that make him a good value. The heck with a big target for Big Ben Roethlisberger — at least Clemons could be a special-teams addition. ‘The thing that stands out is, he is a gym rat, he is competitive,’ Tomlin said.”
To recap: not only may have the Steelers stumbled across another quality wide receiver, but they’re apparently very serious about upgrading the offensive line and special teams. (Fifth-rounder Chris Rainey isn’t just a dangerous return man, he had six blocked punts during his college career; Pittsburgh also signed Georgia punter Drew Butler as an undrafted free agent.)
This team has totally reinvented itself in less than a week.