In a Question and Answer session with fans, Scott Brown, who covers the Steelers for ESPN, stated that he gets the vibe that Pittsburgh is committed to young wide receiver, Markus Wheaton . During the session, Brown pointed out that the Steelers had not really done anything that would show they had concerns about the position. They've lost Emmanuel Sanders to the Denver Broncos and Jerricho Cotchery to the Carolina Panthers. They have brought in veteran wideout Lance Moore . Outside of that, they've done little.
Brown also referred to the statements made by former NFL great, Tim Brown, regarding Wheaton. Prior to the 2013 season, Brown worked out with Wheaton and raved about how impressed he was with his route-running and pass-catching skills, predicting he'd be a very good NFL receiver.
Wheaton only caught 13 balls for 64 yards in his rookie season.
So, a former NFL great has raved about him. Their beat writer is now saying he gets the vibe that the team has faith in him. The signs point in that direction. Now, it's time for Wheaton to step up. At 5'11" and 182 lbs, and being an apparently good route-runner with good hands, it seems Wheaton would be a good fit for a slot role. It's hard to predict what Wheaton will do in 2014, but it has to be more than in his rookie campaign. With the losses of Cotchery and Sanders, the Steelers see over 100 receptions, over 1,300 yards and over 10 touchdowns leaving town. The next two best pass-catchers in 2013 were TE Heath Miller (58/593/1) and RB Le'Veon Bell (45-399-0).
Expect Wheaton and Moore to make up for some of the production lost with the departures of Cotchery and Sanders. Probably the biggest beneficiary in the passing game is going to be Le'Veon Bell. I would expect his PPR value to sky-rocket as he's likely to add 15-20 receptions and another 150 yards. He's a top 10 RB with top 5 upside in 2014.