But the good teams in the NFL add strength to strength, hence the team’s decision to use a second-round choice pick on USC wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster. A former first-round projection, his stock slipped throughout the process due to his Combine measurables not being elite. Regardless, he was a highly productive college player with a bright NFL future.
After being selected with the 62nd overall pick by the Steelers, here’s what Smith-Schuster had to say, via Teresa Varley of Steelers.com:
“It’s a blessing. You have your whole family behind you and your supporters. Your name finally gets called by a team that you didn’t expect a call from. When I finally got the call, it was unbelievable. It really meant a lot, because I didn’t get called earlier. When you have family behind you and they’re waiting and waiting and you finally get the call, I was speechless.”
Shortly, Smith-Schuster will have to let his play do some talking. In his three seasons with the Trojans, he racks up a total of 213 receptions, good for 3,092 yards and 25 touchdowns. He totaled 10 scores in each of his last two season at Southern Cal. There is that eye-opening in 2015, hauling in 89 passes for 1,454 yards and the aforementioned 10 touchdowns.
Learning from the likes of Brown and catching passes from veteran signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger is a nice way to start an NFL career. The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the most dangerous and productive aerial attacks in the league. Smith-Schuster could get a chance to make an early impact, especially if Bryant takes a little time to get reacquainted with Big Ben (after being suspended for all of 2016) and Coates continues to have some problems with drops.
In any case, the defending AFC North champions have had a lot of success finding wideouts in recent years. Smith-Schuster could be the latest example of the Steelers hitting a home run when it comes to this position.