Rotoworld’s Analysis Of Steelers Wide Receivers Comes Up Short

Thursday night, Evan Silva of Rotoworld had some top-notch analysis as he pointed out the Pittsburgh Steelers current top-three wide receivers are all under six foot tall.

Silva is obviously trying to tell us that the Steelers absolutely have draft a “tall” wide receiver in May if they want to win it all in 2014.

Silva, however, must have a very “short” memory as the Seattle Seahawks proved back in February that teams can win the Super Bowl with wide receivers shorter than 72 inches.

Last season, Golden Tate (64 receptions) and Doug Baldwin (50 receptions) were the top two wide receivers on the Seahawks roster, and based on their combine measurements, both were well under 71 inches tall. The two combined to catch 72.6% of all catches made by Seahawks wide receivers during the regular season.

Did the Seahawks have a few “tall” wide receivers on their roster last year? Sure they did, but six-plus-footers Jermaine Kearse, Ricardo Lockette, and Sidney Rice all combined to catch 42 passes during the regular season. Kearse, unless you can’t read the table below, had 22 of those catches and you guessed it, he is the shortest wide receiver of the three at just under 73 inches.

Before I forget, the Seahawks also had a height challenged wide receiver named Percy Harvin that caught just one pass last year during the regular season.

Now, there’s nothing to prevent the Steelers from drafting a “tall” wide receiver in May and based on the draft class this year, there’s a good chance that they will select one that measures in at 72 inches or more. However, when it comes to Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert, I’m pretty sure that size doesn’t matter.

Over the course of the next few days, I’m sure Silva will let us know that teams that don’t have a quarterback at least 72 inches tall won’t be able to win it all in 2014, either. Oh wait, that also just happened back in February.

As you can see, Silva’s analysis of the Steelers wide receivers comes up “short”.

2013 Seahawks Wide Receiver Stats

PLAYERHGTRECYDSTD
Golden Tate5102648985
Doug Baldwin5096507785
Jermaine Kearse6007223464
Sidney Rice6034152313
Ricardo Lockette60215820
Percy Harvin51111170

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • taztroy43

    Nice job!

  • 804Stiller

    A team won a super bowl with Hines Ward, Antwaan Randle El and Cedrick Wilson at WR. Then, won again with Ward, Santonio Holmes and Nate Washinton. Oh sorry, they did have a tall receiver named Limas Sweed.

  • Jason

    If I hear that we need a tall WR again I’m gonna lose it. Our # 1 and 2 single season reception leaders are Hines and AB. All their receptions count despite the fact that they aren’t 6’5. I’ve actually seen mock drafts by Steeler fans that say Round 1- Tall WR. I guess it doesn’t matter if they have a name or any credentials, just be tall. Yet the same fans are writing Moye off because he dropped 1 pass last season.

  • Pete Johnson

    You just cited the 26th ranked passing attack last year to back up your argument? Nice. Maybe the Steelers defense will play like Seattles next year and we can win it all with a bottom tier passing attack and a bunch of midgets at WR. Actually I could care less about the height, more the talent and the massive question marks behind AB.

  • Superdriller316

    What exactly constitutes TALL?

  • Steelers12328882

    lol I’m not sure comparing our passing attack to the Seahawks does us any favors. They were pretty bad. If our defense was as good as theirs maybe we could get away crappy passing attack.

  • Caesar

    This seems a little unfair. Reading a lot into the twitter comment, he isn’t saying they have to draft a tall wide receiver in order to win it all. It seems to me a fair point to note, just that the Steelers have a weakness there, and it isn’t as simple as just saying they are short. For example, they have trouble scoring in the red zone, that is a real weakness, and I do think that having a larger, dynamic, receiving option able to better win in tight quarters is something that can help with that. Will it automatically fix it and transform them in itself into Super Bowl contenders, not necessarily, but that is part of the thought process in such analysis I think, it isn’t just advocating height for height’s sake. And with the Seattle comparison, the Seahawks ran the ball much more effectively than the Steelers. So another way of offsetting limitations in the receiving options would be continuing to improve the run game, that to me would be the lesson in comparing to Seattle.

  • Jason

    So if we draft a tall WR he wouldn’t come with question marks? And I would say Wheaton and Moore have indeniable talent.

  • Jason

    Well put. Even though I don’t agree that a “tall” WR is a necessary your post is at least a fair and thought out argument for the need for one.

  • joed32

    He’s slow and doesn’t get open. I don’t know if more experience can help or not. If it were just jump balls he would be fine.

  • Caesar

    Thanks. And again, I don’t think it would be an automatic fix, just something that is another useful tool in the toolbox and one we don’t currently have.

  • Caesar

    I think there is some room for doubt with Moore and Wheaton. With Moore, he is past his best days and whenever a good team lets a guy go I think you have to look at him as having some question marks. And Wheaton is a third round pick who has done nothing in the league yet. So talented yes, but still a more or less unknown commodity. That being said, I do share optimism about him.

  • Jason

    I agree and I’m certainly not against drafting a tall WR but not just beacause he’s tall. If a 6’5 WR is available at a point in the draft where he is a solid value then absolutely. For instance if Mike Evans is there at 15 run to the podium but if it’s Kelvin Benjamin I wouldn’t touch him at 15.

  • Jason

    Moye was just an example. I’m not overly high or low on him because of his limited time to show anything since we have to dress 10 tight ends every week. I wouldn’t say he’s slow (4.49) at 6’5 but I have read he has trouble seperating from defenders.

  • Caesar

    Agreed. Though I might still prefer one of the CBs even to Evans, and then looking at a receiving weapon in round 2; someone like Matthews, Bryant, Moncrief, Adams, or even a TE like Troy Nicklas.

  • steeltown

    Very true, tall WRs don’t guarantee championships

  • Jason

    Certainly question marks with Wheaton but my point was any WR we draft, tall or short, will be a question mark as well until he proves he can do it.

  • 20Stoney

    6′-1.75″

  • Steelers12328882

    He’s not slow, but he’s definitely not explosive. Moye’s problem is he doesn’t always play tall, and he’s weak. He has a good opportunity to prove himself this offseason tho, so hopefully it works out for the Steelers.

  • srdan

    Is steve smith tall?

  • srdan

    Defenses do

  • 20Stoney

    I’d take a tall TE that provides mismatch problems.

  • 804Stiller

    I agree with you guys. I would love to grab one of the CBs first but if we go WR first, I just want productivity more than anything. If size comes with that, I’m all for it. I feel comfortable with how we have been able to develop WRs in the recent past too. I really have Wheaton breaking out too. Regardless of which side of the ball, this year’s first pick needs to become a “playmaker” rather than a solid starter.

  • Jason

    My only issue with going corner in round 1 is that he’ll have to sit and watch while he learns Lebeau’s supposedly wildly complicated defense then by the time we know he can play he’s in his contract year. I’d love to see Gilbert or Dennard in black and gold and feel they could make an immediate impact, if given the opportunity to play.

  • Callentown

    Wait, what ‘massive question marks’ behind AB??

  • Callentown

    6’3″.

  • AndyR34

    Moye is an UDFA…that says almost everything about his skill set and potential. Yes…some players overcome that designation…about 10% of them do. I have seen nothing from him so far that puts him in that 10% category.

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    How many SB have won Detroit with Megathron?

  • mem359

    When is the last time that Big Ben actually made a request for a tall receiver?
    Or are reporters *never* going to let that comment go?

  • AndyR34

    You are correct that they would have an immediate impact…it just wouldn’t be a positive one. Few rookies…outside of certain skill positions such as WR or RB can start and have a positive impact on championship-caliber teams in today’s NFL. It is a measure of how far we have fallen and the number of injuries that we had so many started last year. And most were rather abysmal at first! It is not so much LeBeau’s complicated defense as it is the general need to develop the ability to play at a NFL championship level. Look at Baltimore’s Jimmy Smith…a very highly-rated CB coming out of college…he struggled at first also. Most of the rookies you read about doing well their first year are not on very good teams in the first place

  • Jason

    None but I’d take him if they offered him up. LOL

  • Jason

    I don’t know which story they like more, Ben insisting on a tall WR or the non existent Haley-Ben feud.

  • AndyR34

    Jason & Caesar – nice discussion!

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Well that is a different story, but the old recipe of a Good QB and a great Defense is what brings Lombardys!

  • Caesar

    No, scoring more points that the other teams does. Whatever formula you use to do it, there is no single one. Acquiring talent and deploying it the most efficient way possible wins championships.

  • 804Stiller

    Man, if these guys excel in press coverage, you would think we would be able to simplify their responsibilities to get them on field as they are learning the rest of the defense. Yeah, it is really tough when it takes so long to see what you have. As dominant as 97 was this year, it’s hard to believe it took so long for him to get on the field. I think DE is the toughest position to learn tho, right?

  • Jason

    You can’t tell me that Gilbert or Dennard couldn’t crack the top 4 on our CB depth chart. Ike,Cortez,Gay and who? Unless you count Shamarko as a Nickel guy

  • Virdin Barzey

    It why I stop listening/watching to ESPN, NFL Network, and all the other so called experts on various sites on the internet. To be honest, it the reason I read Steelersdepot and just a few other Steelers sites. Those other opinions are worthless…..especially those clowns on TV.

  • srdan

    I present you the capt obvious award. lol

  • joed32

    Maybe his straight line speed like running the 40 isn’t bad but when he has to cut or break stride to get past a defender then he slows. Maybe he can be coached up but I like J. Brown a little better.

  • cencalsteeler

    In Haley’s system, shorter receivers have the advantage. The key here is to get the ball out of Ben’s hands faster. This requires timing patterns for the most part. These smaller, quicker and faster receivers have the ability to come out of the gates faster and create separation. The throws are short so the play is designed with the receiver creating YAC. I do see how a taller receiver is more of a threat on the deep route, but that is a low percentage attempt. I’d personally rather see us go after a taller mismatching tight end who can get things done in the red zone.

  • Milliken Steeler

    I actually think Justin Brown gets the spot from him this year. He had him last year until the last few weeks of pre season and that is with Moye having a year of Practice squad experience over Justin.

    Justin also has ST experience as a return man.

    Now, if we pick up someone like Jeff Janis in the fourth? I think he will be the fourth receiver at the minimum this year. He is to big and to fast, to not make a splash with us.

  • 804Stiller

    You make good points. I don’t think you have to be tall to play big. I think guys like Bolden, Ward and even Cotch played big and protected their QBs on not so perfect throws. Although, they don’t really give you the fade threat, they can do other things in the red zone to help their QBs out.

  • AndyR34

    Sure I can tell you that! All previous evidence of how the Steelers operate will confirm that! I think that starting the year S. Thomas will probably start at the dime…maybe even W. Allen. Later on…who knows…depends upon injuries, etc. My point is not with the skills of Gilbert or Dennard…my point is that few rookies come in to high quality teams and start right away…Troy didn’t, Woodley didn’t, Timmons didn’t, Ike didn’t, Cortez didn’t, AB didn’t, Wallace didn’t, Ben didn’t.

  • Jason

    Those teams were high quality, this one isn’t. Yes we won 6 of our last 8 but only 1 of those wins (Cincinnati) was anything to talk about. You are correct about about Shamarko and I meant dime in my post since Gay will be the nickel. I’m not challenging you as far as whether a rookie corner will play because I know past practice proves he won’t. And Ben did basically start right away going 13-0 his rookie year, granted this was due to injury and has no relevance to our discussion I just had to throw it in there.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Good stuff!

    I think people get carried away comparing the need for a tall WR with the need at another position that might not even have a competent starter. I would love to have one but I like to look at the impact on multiple positions by any single move. A tall WR combined with keeping the worst starter on the team, compared with replacing that worst starter with a first round draft choice and drafting a WR in the 3rd or 4th round is the choice consider.

  • steeltown

    Which is why I was happy with the Moore signing, I think he fits our Offense

  • steeltown

    Its not really his speed I think, good size and route running can make up for lack of elite speed. Its his toughness and ability to use his body, which is slender, to go up and high point. This is an unfair comparison but Moye basically is the same size as AJ Green but Green is a master of using his body, high pointing and snatching balls with his hands, of course he also has much better short area quickness

    Moye and J.Brown both remain interesting players in this roster, whether either one ever truly contributes still remains to be seen

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Interesting. Justin Brown is a better blocker, so if he plays well and makes some catches in preseason, they may wish to dress him on Sundays because if pressed into action he could help block for a “Hopefully” improved running game.

    If you’re happy with what you have, then maybe Moye is the guy you want to dress to take advantage of his height on 3rd downs or near the RZ. Throw the ball only where he can come up with it. I hope he bulked up this off season because it would help his cause immensely.

    Then again, if they think Evans will be a stud, they might take him.

    I still say in the deepest WR draft possibly in history….. you take a guy in the 2-4 round area. That guy may be almost as good as these 1st rounders given a little time. Think about the likes of Martavius Bryant, Jordan Matthews and a few more.

  • Andrew

    Can anyone get Evan Silva to explain his repeated criticism of the Shamarko draft pick? Does/Did he not understand that Wallace would bring back a 3rd rd compensatory? He also recently tweeted that Shamarko won’t even be the #3 safety — does he know something about Will Allen that we don’t or has he been training Golden this offseason?

  • Toddy Bravo

    I’ve been watching a lot of tape on Jordan Mathews and am totally sold on the guy as a possible 2nd rounder. Love his size, production and measurables. Martavius Bryant is conundrum though. You have to love his size and speed, but how much of his success and ability to get open has been due to the beast lined up on the other side (Watkins). He might be worth our 3rd round (comp) pick, but I’d be more comfortable with him in Rd. 4.

  • http://pittsburghsportsinat.blogspot.com/ bgsteelfan

    Why does anyone think that height is the primary attribute for grading WR prospects?

  • Brendon Glad

    They need someone who can catch deep fades and go routes. Way too many good deep throws by Ben last year that went without reward. If it’s because they are tall…speedy…both…or just play really big, then it will suffice. But no one can deny that when the ball was up in the air deep last year….the Steelers tended to look damagingly small.