It took one game for Chase Claypool’s nickname to stick.
The Pittsburgh Steelers Canadian rookie receiver generated considerable hype during training camp, following it with a spectacular grab in his NFL debut and launched a clothing line focused on his nickname: Mapletron.
“We call him Mapletron, but he doesn’t like it,” 2018 Pro Bowler JuJu Smith-Schuster told Postmedia reporter J.J. Adams.
“He tried for Air Canada, but we were like ‘Nah, that’s Vince Carter’s (nickname).’ He’s tried to figure some out, but it’s MapleTron. It’s funny, it’s catchy, it’s lit, so he’s going to have to ride with it.”
That’s what the native of Abbotsford, British Columbia did. He recorded two catches on two targets for 39 yards while adding one rush for eight yards and a first down to end the game in Week 1, part of a 26-16 Pittsburgh victory over the New York Giants. Claypool was the highest graded rookie NFL performer.
The 22-year-old’s first career NFL reception was the most improbable completion of Week 1 in the entire NFL, Next Gen Stats provided the information. Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball 47.3 yards in the air while under pressure and with Claypool in double coverage. The completion probability rate was calculated at 13.8 percent.
Pure athleticism and body control were the critical factors why Claypool hauled the ball in. The exact traits which led to the nickname based on former star NFL receiver Calvin Johnson who was known as Megatron. Mapletron is sweeter and has Canadian flavour.