Canadian receiver Chase Claypool is bigger than NFL All-Pro pass catcher D.K. Metcalf.
The six-foot-four, 235-pound Seattle Seahawks’ star is slightly faster than the six-foot-four, 238-pound Pittsburgh Steelers’ rising talent, but both young men can take the top off defences and proved it during their respective rookie seasons.
After being selected in the second round, 64th overall during the 2019 NFL Draft, Metcalf caught 58 passes for 900 yards and seven touchdowns.
After being selected in the second round, 49th overall during the 2020 NFL Draft, Claypool caught 62 passes for 858 yards and nine touchdowns.
The 23-year-old Metcalf made 83 receptions for 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns in his sophomore year and Claypool is confident he can produce similar totals during year two in the NFL.
“Yeah, I definitely think I’m going to jump,” Claypool said with his Canadian confidence.
“For team expectations, obviously make a good playoff run and try to win the Super Bowl. Personal expectations, do better than I did last year.”
Claypool improved his individual statistics over four seasons at the University of Notre Dame playing for the Fighting Irish.
2016: 5 receptions for 81 yards and no touchdowns.
2017: 29 receptions for 402 yards and two touchdowns.
2018: 50 receptions for 639 yards and four touchdowns.
2019: 66 receptions for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns.
“My college years I always progressed, things got easier for me in college and things are getting easier for me in the NFL — I know what to expect, I know how to prepare now,” Claypool said.
Since last season ended, Claypool spent time working to expand his freakish athleticism. He is left-side dominant and wanted to balance out his body by focusing on the right side.
On the field, Claypool continued learning from former Pro Bowl receiver T. J. Houshmandzadeh. He wants to build on his standout rookie campaign, even though opposing defences were already scheming to stop him last season.
“They definitely rolled safeties over, corners started playing outside leverage, so hopefully I have a more diverse route tree and then they can’t be cheating so much,” Claypool said.
The pro game has slowed down for the 23-year-old Abbotsford, B.C. native who is trying not to let anything get to his head as Mapletron looks to ascend to Metcalf’s level and become one of the most feared playmakers in the NFL.