To many talented wide receivers is a pretty good problem to have, but it's a problem none the less. The Steelers will have some important decisions to make regarding their WR depth chart this summer.
With 11 prospective wide receivers technically vying for a spot on the Steelers roster right now, it's a glut of talent at the top that Pittsburgh needs to deal with. Particularly picking the best two-out-of-three between potential starters Bryant, Smith-Schuster, and Coates.
Martavis Bryant is the obvious lock, unless he gets into more trouble that keeps him off the field. So, it really comes down to a battle between Sammie Coates and newcomer.
Smith-Schuster is an unproven rookie with a ton of potential upside, Coates has two years as a Steeler under his belt and has shown improvement across each season.
The thing is, Coates hasn't proven himself to be a high-percentage catch player, and a promising start to 2016 was derailed after broken fingers limited him to only a 11.1% completion rate across the last nine games of the season. It was also made public after the season was over that he sustained a groin injury that required offseason surgery to correct.
For his part, Coates isn't worried about the job competition.
"It's going to be like that until we get to camp -- it's going to be a good fight," Coates said in an interview with ESPN.com. "It's a great room, great guys. There will be competition all year."
Coates is big, fast, and versatile. The Steelers would be wise to try and keep him around even if Smith-Schuster manages to unseat him during training camp. He could be great on special teams, and ideally he can come back from a difficult 2016 to have another career season in Pittsburgh.
Source: Conor Orr - NFL.com · Photo Credit: KEYSTONE PRESS