2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Steelers take Clemson WR Bryant in 4th round

By WILL GRAVES - AP Sports Writer
    2014-05-10 15:37

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can finally look one of his receivers in the eye.

Well, almost.

The Steelers took 6-foot-4 Martavis Bryant of Clemson in the fourth round of the NFL draft on Saturday, giving the 6-5 Roethlisberger the big red zone target the team has long coveted.

''We needed a guy different from what we have,'' wide receivers coach Richard Mann said.

Bryant caught 42 passes for 828 yards and seven touchdowns for the Tigers last fall while playing alongside star Sammy Watkins. While he creates matchup problems near the end zone, Bryant isn't exactly a red zone specialist. He averaged nearly 20 yards per catch last season. Given Roethlisberger's penchant for extending plays and testing the limits of his arm, Bryant doesn't see why he can't come in and make an immediate impact.

''I know that Big Ben knows how to get the ball down the field and they've had some great wide receivers over the years,'' Bryant said. ''He loves throwing the ball deep and I just want to come and help.''

The Steelers need help at receiver after Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery - the closest thing they had to a red zone target - left via free agency. Pittsburgh signed former New Orleans slot receiver Lance Moore and former Oakland first-round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey to offset the losses but neither are considered long-term solutions.

Mann believes Bryant could be a starter in the NFL, perhaps sooner rather than later. The team hasn't had a true ''big'' receiver since Plaxico Burress left for the New York Giants in 2005. Antonio Brown made the Pro Bowl last season and set a team record for yards receiving in a season with 1,499 but at 5-10 isn't the type to go up and get it. That won't be a problem for Bryant.

''With the reach that he has, the arms, and the wingspan, I feel like we can get some cheap touchdowns down there,'' Mann said. ''He's not afraid.''

Pittsburgh grabbed Bryant one round after taking undersized running back/wide receiver/kick returner Dri Archer. Mann sees the 5-8 Archer spending time at wide out in certain packages.

''I can visualize us `jerry-rigging' stuff for him, the things he can do well and not just put him in every down,'' Mann said.

The Steelers entered the draft with a glaring need at wide receiver and defensive back but waited until the final day to bolster either position. Pittsburgh selected former Arizona defensive back Shaquille Richardson with their first pick in the fifth round then took Vanderbilt offensive lineman Wesley Johnson with a compensatory selection.

Richardson collected 10 interceptions during his collegiate career, one that began at UCLA. He was actually recruited by current Steelers secondary coach Carnell Lake, who was a coach with the Bruins at the time. Richardson never played a down for UCLA, getting kicked off the team after being charged with stealing a purse before school started. The charges were dropped and he ended up in Arizona, where he used his 6-foot frame to challenge opposing receivers.

''He has some height, he has some size to him and he has some coverage ability,'' Lake said.

Like Richardson, Johnson is expected to provide depth. He started more than 50 games in Southeastern Conference play for the Commodores, with the starts spread out between all three line positions. The Steelers coveted Johnson's versatility. Pittsburgh's offensive line has spent most of the last few seasons dealing with injuries that have forced them to get creative with their combinations.

That's fine by Johnson, who says he's most comfortable at tackle but is only too happy to go in whatever direction helps the team.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

Ray McDonaldMar 24 02:02p

Free-agent DE Ray McDonald (49ers) is signing an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24.

Stephen BowenMar 24 01:32p

Free-agent DE Stephen Bowen (Redskins) is signing an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, March 24.

Geno SmithMar 24 01:22p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback ahead of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick entering training camp this summer, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. 'You [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerMar 24 01:12p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is a realistic option for the Tennessee Titans with the second overall selection in this year's NFL Draft, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt is impressed [ More ]

Jarvis JenkinsMar 24 10:42a

Free-agent DE Jarvis Jenkins (Redskins) agreed with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24, on a one-year deal.

Johnny ManzielMar 24 08:52a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is expected back with the team for offseason workouts April 20 after completing more than two months of treatment.

Adrian PetersonMar 23 07:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, said Monday, March 23, that he doesn't think 'it's in Adrian's best interest to play in Minnesota' in 2015 and beyond. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is expected to be part of the Vikings next season, according to general manager Rick Spielman. 'Adrian's a member of our football team,' Spielman [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 23 01:22p

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees will not be traded, according to general manager Mickey Loomis. Recent speculation said that Brees may be on the trade block after his [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 12:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's preference is to play elsewhere than with the Vikings in 2015, according to a league source. He is under contract through the 2017 season [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 22 08:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's future remains unclear, but head coach Mike Zimmer recently said that the Vikings are 'excited' to have him back. Zimmer had previously said that [ More ]

James HarrisonMar 22 12:42p

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, March 22. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Branden OliverMar 21 03:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Branden Oliver is penciled in as the starting running back at this point.

EJ ManuelMar 21 12:52a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is not locked in as the starting quarterback. Head coach Rex Ryan said Friday, March 20, that the quarterback competition will be open. 'It's [ More ]

Kevin VickersonMar 20 05:52p

Free-agent DT Kevin Vickerson (Chiefs) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Friday, March 20.

Matt MooreMar 20 04:32p

Free-agent QB Matt Moore (Dolphins) re-signed with the Miami Dolphins Friday, March 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonMar 20 02:42p

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is clearly wanted back by the organization, and general manager Rick Spielman once again stressed that they will make every [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group