Washington focused on clamping down Steelers rookie Canadian Chase Claypool

Photo courtesy: Jared Wickerham / Pittsburgh Steelers

The Washington Football Team has been watching the film and seeing Canadian Chase Claypool consistently making plays.

The six-foot-four, 238-pound pass catcher has seven games with 50 or more receiving yards during his rookie NFL season. The 22-year-old has 45 receptions for 611 yards and eight touchdowns along with nine rushes for 22 yards with two scores on the season, totalling 10 touchdowns in 11 games.

“Claypool’s got the speed, the quickness, he gets some vertical stretch on you. I don’t see him much different than what we saw him coming out, other than he’s a little more polished,” Washington head coach Ron Rivera said during a video conference.

Claypool boosted his stock during the 2020 Senior Bowl and put himself on the stat sheet with a touchdown catch in the game. Following an ultra athletic display at the NFL combine, Pittsburgh selected Claypool in the second round, 49th overall during the NFL draft — it was the Steelers first choice in the pick-fest.

“That’s probably the biggest thing you see about him is that he’s a more polished player. And the guy that, during the game at any point [Ben Roethlisberger] might throw it deep to, is Claypool,” Rivera said.

30 of Claypool’s 45 catches have produced first downs and nine receptions have gone for over 20 yards. He averages 13.6 yards per catch and the first touchdown of his career was the longest score from scrimmage by a Canadian in NFL history, covering 84 yards against the Denver Broncos.

“Claypool’s been an exciting addition to them. He brings size, speed, play-making ability. Obviously, Big Ben has gotten comfortable with him and likes him a lot. With Big Ben pulling the trigger it makes them very formidable,” Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said in a video conference.

Trying to clamp down Claypool is clearly a focus for both Rivera and Del Rio, two defensive-minded coaches. In Week 13, the Washington Football Team visits Pittsburgh for a shot at the undefeated 11-0 Steelers on Monday night.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.