On Monday, Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest said during the afternoon Steelers Live episode that he has been impressed with rookie wide receiver Justin Brown, who was drafted this past April in the sixth-round. Labriola emphasized Brown again Wednesday on Twitter and says he thinks the 6\’3″ wide receiver has soft hands and that when the ball hits them, it\’s like it\’s hitting a pillow.
Last guy off the field Wed. AM: @justinbrown19. Rookie WR has some soft hands. When the ball hits his hands, sounds like hitting a pillow
— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) July 31, 2013
During his one year at Oklahoma, Brown had 72 catches for 870 yards and a 61.5% catch percentage. While he definitely isn\’t considered to be a wide receiver that will stretch the field, he is, however, known for his good hands and toughness over the middle. Many of the media reports suggest he is off to a consistent start in training camp and that he could be in the running to get some looks as a punt returner once the preseason games get underway.
If, however, Brown doesn\’t gain the trust of the Steelers coaches to be the team\’s punt returner, he will then have a hard time knocking veteran Plaxico Burress out of the fifth wide receiver spot on the roster. The Steelers could keep as many as six receivers on their final 53 man roster, but by doing so it would come at the expense of another position\’s depth.
At the very least, it looks as though Brown has some upside to him and should he not make the final cut he will be a prime candidate to open the 2013 season on the practice squad. Being he was a late round draft pick, that\’s not necessarily a bad thing.