New Steelers wide out Markus Wheaton didn’t get to show all his moves on Saturday night vs the Giants, but at the same time, showed enough to impress some NFL “insiders” out there.
Certain players just pop in preseason. You can see they can play right away. Steelers WR Markus Wheaton is one.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2013
Wheaton pulled in one pass for eight yards vs the Giants, and also had one rush for 10 yards in the game.
Now with Plaxico Burress done for the year, Wheaton could have even more of an opportunity to make plays in his rookie season, something that usually doesn’t happen for Steelers rookies.
Burress in his rookie season had 22 catches for 273 yards with no touchdowns. Troy Edwards, another high profile Steelers rookie, had a better rookie season, pulling in 61 catches for 714 yards with five scores.
Edwards’ career went nowhere from there, catching 18 passes for 215 yards and then being gone after the 2001 season.
Of course Edwards was a first-round pick on a bad team back in 1999, while Wheaton won’t be asked to carry as big of a load, behind at least starters Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.
So what can one expect of Wheaton in his rookie season?
Wheaton will still have to fight with wide outs for playing time. Jerricho Cotchery, David Gilreath and rookies Markus Wheaton and Justin Brown are going to push Wheaton in his first season.
If he can stay consistent with his route running, and make sure that he stays focused, there’s no reason to think that Wheaton won’t make an impact for the Steelers in 2013.
Expect 35-40 catches for Wheaton in 2013, and if things go his way, 550-660 yards with 2-4 touchdowns.
Of course never say never, but I don’t think the Steelers would mind if those numbers were higher.