The Steelers seem to be addressing their primary needs in the draft. First they selected a linebacker, then a running back, and now they’ve taken a wide receiver.
The Steelers took Oregon State wide receiver Markus Wheaton with their third round pick. Wheaton is a 5’11″, 185 lb. wide receiver who has speed to burn. Wheaton is among the fastest receivers available in the draft. In addition to playing football, he also ran track for Oregon State.
Much like former Steelers receiver Mike Wallace, Wheaton is more of a straight line runner. He is best on fly patterns. He isn’t as effective running underneath routes.
Wheaton has very good hands, and he can make all of the catches. If you put the ball in the air, he’s likely to catch it. But he’s going to need significant work on his route running at the next level to really take advantage of his speed and good hands.
As a senior, Wheaton had 91 receptions for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is the Beavers all-time record holder with 227 catches.
Oregon State plays a quick-hitting passing attack that gave Wheaton plenty of chances to catch the ball. This experience should fit in well with Todd Haley’s offense.
Wheaton’s primary weakness is his size. He’s thin for an NFL player, and that can be an issue in absorbing punishment, and breaking free from physical cornerbacks. But Wheaton has shown improvement each year at Oregon State, and I expect the improvement to continue in the NFL.