JuJu Smith-Schuster Near Pace To Break Steelers’ Rookie Receiving Records

It is safe to say that the Pittsburgh Steelers have had some great rookie wide receivers over the years. Louis Lipps, Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace, Troy Edwards and Martavis Bryant are just a few of the endless bunch of young talent that has come through Pittsburgh over the franchise’s history. While all the receivers listed were able to spark the franchise during their rookie season, many of their accolades are being threatened by a new rookie receiver- a rookie receiver, who is still not yet old enough to legally drink.

Through the first half of the 2017 NFL season, 20-year old rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has dazzled with his dance moves and football moves. Smith-Schuster currently leads all rookie receivers with 424 receiving yards and four touchdowns, putting him almost on pace to break many of the Steelers’ own rookie records as well.

Below are the top 14 modern-era seasons for a Steelers’ rookie wide receiver, sorted by receiving yards.

PLAYERYEARAGEGMSRECYDSYPRTDSYPG
Jimmy Orr195823123391027.58775.8
Louis Lipps198422144586019.11961.4
Santonio Holmes200622164982416.82251.5
Mike Wallace200923163975619.38647.3
Troy Edwards199922166171411.7544.6
Ron Shanklin197022143069123.03449.4
Charles Johnson199422163857715.18336.1
Martavis Bryant201423102654921.12854.9
Antwaan Randle El200223164748910.4230.6
Dave Smith197023143045815.27232.7
Derek Hill198922162845516.25128.4
JuJu Smith-Schuster2017 2082442417.67453
Bobby Shaw199924152838713.82325.8
Emmanuel Sanders201023132837613.43228.9

Jimmy Orr tops the list totaling 910 receiving yards during his 1958 season, though that accolade may not be safe should Smith-Schuster continue his torrid pace. Smith-Schuster is currently on pace to accumulate 848 receiving yards, which would be just a little less than Orr’s’ record.

Smith-Schuster has also scored four touchdowns, thus putting the rookie wide receiver just behind the pace of Lipps’ rookie record of nine receiving touchdowns.

Smith-Schuster may have a favorable shot at reaching his projections as the receiver continues to grow his way into the offense. Sunday’s performance, in which Smith-Schuster recorded seven receptions for 193 yards, including a franchise record 97-yard touchdown reception, showed why the Steelers are eager to continue incorporating the rookie receiver into the offense.

The 20-year old rookie receiver has played over two-thirds of the Steelers’ offensive snaps in five of the last six games, showing incredible maturity for his age. Smith-Schuster is making the most of his opportunities, scoring touchdowns in consecutive weeks and earning Ben Roethlisberger’s trust on third down. Smith-Schuster currently has 12 receptions for over 200 yards on third down with nine of the 12 receptions earning a fresh set of downs.

It is obvious that the Steelers have a rare and outstanding talent at their hands in Smith-Schuster. And while rookie wide receiver talent has seemingly grown on trees during the Steelers’ recent history, Smith-Schuster is no ordinary rookie. The rookie wide receiver may be the most complete package both on and off the field that the Steelers have ever seen from a rookie wide receiver, giving him a favorable shot at many franchise rookie records.

About the Author

Daniel Valente

Steelers fan from birth, spending majority of my free time looking up statistics. Had the honor of meeting Mike Vanderjagt shortly after his infamous missed field goal in the 2005 Divisional Round. Currently pursuing a Journalism degree. Follow me on Twitter @StatsGuyDaniel

  • LifeUhhFindsAWay

    Louis Lipps?

  • Chad Weiss

    I though lipps holds the rookie record and was roy

  • melblount

    Louis Lipps had 45/860/9 in his 1984 rookie season and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1984 and 1985, the latter being his most productive year with 59/1134/12. He was also a STUD PR both of those seasons.

  • EdJHJr

    Shhhhh. Quiet. If MB sees this then what

  • treeher

    He also set the rookie record for punt return yards, returned one for a TD, and was NFL rookie of year. Played 8 seasons for Pgh.

  • SteelersDepot

    I fixed this for Daniel as he PFR search went wonky for him. Orr, by the way, I think was still recognized as the leader.

  • melblount

    Jimmy Orr’s rookie season was 1958 not 1984, and he was 23 not 33 years old.

  • Richard Edlin

    Do Louis Lipps Sink Shisp?

  • StolenUpVotes

    Ole Charles Johnson……remember when they didn’t realize he couldn’t see the ball during the 95 season? Lol. Had to get the guy contacts or something like that

  • Sdale

    He was a stud. If he had anyone throwing to him, he would have been All Pro…Mark Malone and Bubby Brister…gives me shudders just thinking about it.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    I do have Jimmy Orr ranked # 310 on my all-time Steeler list.

  • Jaybird

    Bro I saw Orr at 1984 and I panicked! I thought I was finally losing my memory or getting dementia. I had no reckolection of som e guy named Orr playing in 1984!!!!

  • ryan72384

    Not old enough to remember Louis Lipps but my dad always said he was an absolute playmaker from day one but never had anyone throwing him the ball. Said he could have been something special with a better QB. I am always surprised when I see Troy Edwards had 61 catches as a rookie.

  • francesco

    Yes i remember Louis Lipps. Not sure what happened…if he got traded or what?

  • Brenton deed

    Yep you’re right … I seem to recall he was an awesome returner too. He would’ve been HOF with Marino throwing to him.

  • dany

    If it wasn’t for DeShaun Watson, the steelers could easily get both the offensive and defensive rookie player of the year awards. Who would have thought this team would do that just 3-4 years ago?

  • Cwallace

    Your dad was right about ‘Louis lips sinks ships’. I think he had Mark ‘no guts and a gun’ Malone or Bubby ‘bad ball’ Brister pitching at him. Not so good. Now thinking about it ben dont look so bad.

  • Cwallace

    Puke years..with a 1984-85 tease

  • Mark

    Lol!