The Pittsburgh Steelers have nine wins in as many games and seem to be in good position to challenge for a Super Bowl this year. Part of the reason why the team has been so successful in 2020 is the surprisingly strong play of rookie wide receiver, Chase Claypool.
On Wednesday ESPN released a list of the 10 best rookies in the NFL today.
Los Angles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert came in at No. 1, followed by Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals, Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings, Tristan Wirfs of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chase Young of the Washington Football Team.
Rounding out the bottom of the list were James Robinson of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tee Higgins of the Bengals, Antonio Gibson out of Washington, Mekhi Becton of the New York Jets and Antoine Winfield Jr. of the Buccaneers.
One notable omission from that list? Claypool.
Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow sit atop our latest NFL Rookie Rankings @ESPNNFL
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 18, 2020
Naturally, Steelers fans responded to the list immediately.
Claypool over Wirfs everyday of the week. Becton and Willis over Wirfs too. Crazy how overrated he is
— Steel City Film Room (@SteelCityFRYT) November 18, 2020
Pretty sure Justin Jefferson doesn’t have 9 total TDs on the year. The fact that Chase Claypool isn’t even top 10 is absurd
— Steve Damico (@SteveDamico24) November 18, 2020
Chase claypool> tee Higgins, claypool had like 8 tds that’s almost a rookie record and he got 7 games left
— Almighty Goat (@_AlmightyCH_) November 18, 2020
Classic disrespect to the Steelers 😂😂 Claypool has 9 tds but nah he definitely isn’t a top 10 rookie
— Tyler Feil (@TylerFeil2) November 18, 2020
The reaction from Steelers fans is understandable. Despite getting outshined by other, more notable players on the offense, Claypool is a stud. He currently leads all rookies with seven receiving touchdowns and is just two scores shy of the all-time rookie franchise record.
Since Week 4 Claypool has recorded more than 350 receiving yards is averaging 58.5 yards per outing over that stretch.
Beyond that, the Notre Dame standout has recorded two rushing touchdowns and has fit seamlessly into an offense that has been firing on all cylinders all year long.
Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion, ESPN included – but it’s hard to see how Claypool doesn’t make it anywhere on that list.
It seems likely that because Jefferson is a more high-profile target and Higgins benefits from the Joe Burrow glow, both players have overshadowed Claypool for those reasons alone.
Of course, when it’s all said and done, the only one of the trio with any chance of ending up in the Super Bowl this year is Claypool — so take from that what you will.