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Martavis Bryant could start for Steelers right away

Martavis Bryant, Darius Kelly AP

At Clemson, Martavis Bryant spent his 2013 season as the “other” receiver in an offense that featured Sammy Watkins in the No. 1 spot.

He could spend 2014 playing a similar role across from Antonio Brown. The Steelers didn’t select Bryant until the fourth round, but the mixture of his talent, size and the state of the Steelers’ receiving corps puts him in the discussion to become the rare Steeler to start from day one as a rookie.

“I’m not going to say that he is going to start, but potentially he could,” wide receivers coach Richard Mann said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We feel like we got a guy to put opposite of Antonio Brown.”

At 6-4 with great speed, Bryant gives the Steelers something they don’t currently have in their receiving corps and Mann said the team was “hunting” for the kind of bigger receiving threat they haven’t had in the offense since Plaxico Burress left for the Giants. Bouchette reports that Ben Roethlisberger was “said to be thrilled” by the addition of a player who stands at about the same height as he does and that size could earn Bryant a long look for a big role in 2014.

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37 Responses to “Martavis Bryant could start for Steelers right away”
  1. avbanig33 says: May 12, 2014 9:40 AM

    There is no way he starts, Markus Wheaton or Lance Moore will start, but Bryant will play a significant role and his role will grow more and more as the season progresses

  2. barsfordays says: May 12, 2014 9:41 AM

    Should be: Brown/Wheaton, DHB in the slot and Martavis at the 4 spot

  3. flacco8 says: May 12, 2014 9:47 AM

    Stephen Hill 2.0 – This guy is a classic bust out prospect that looks like Tarzan and plays like Jane…

    No way he is anywhere near polished enough to start right away…best thing the Steelers could do is let this guy develop slowly and learn how to actually play WR before throwing him in the fire, or else they will risk him losing confidence and becoming a bust

  4. bettis3636 says: May 12, 2014 9:48 AM

    I just dont wanna see another Limus Sweed! But I must say that this kid is exciting!

  5. handsofsteelhartofstone says: May 12, 2014 9:58 AM

    hes our next #2 dhb is not our slot man. sorry

  6. butlers91 says: May 12, 2014 10:01 AM

    I live near Clemson and watched this guy play. The answer is … maybe. He was a disappointment for 2.25 years and then came on strong part way through last season. So there is only about 8 games of highly productive work. But maybe/hopefully for you, that means the light bulb finally turned on. He certainly has the physical tools, and 4th round is a good spot to draft him.

  7. 6ball says: May 12, 2014 10:07 AM

    .

    “he has the potential to start ”

    Most likely at cornerback because they’ve got no one else over there.

    .

  8. fundamentals425 says: May 12, 2014 10:09 AM

    Limus Sweed, nice throw back! He was supposed to be the man.

  9. steelerdynasty2010 says: May 12, 2014 10:12 AM

    so could i…unless you want to count the fact that i havent played or practiced a single NFL down against me.

  10. qdog112 says: May 12, 2014 10:13 AM

    This is my guy. The Steelers got an absolute STEAL! Not only will he start, he will excel. He is a 6’5″ Mike Wallace, with diverse route skill.

    I had hoped the Panthers took him, but they chose Kelvin Benjamin, who may be good, but the speed difference is huge.

    Bryant can take the top off a defense and the Steelers haven’t had that from a tall WR, since Stallworth. This guy can fly.

  11. clashpoint says: May 12, 2014 10:15 AM

    Umm no I don’t think so. He’s a pretty big project at this point. He only has one year of starting even in college and only ran about half the route tree. He has both Wheaton and Moore ahead of him, and probably DHB too. Good to see encouragement from his position coach though and he does have a lot of potential.

  12. doctorrustbelt says: May 12, 2014 10:21 AM

    “Hooray!!! We drafted a weak, undisciplined route runner with questionable hands to save our declining franchise”

    – pittsburgh steelers fans

  13. dentak says: May 12, 2014 10:23 AM

    I’d be shocked if he starts but a steal in the 4th round.

  14. charmcitychampions says: May 12, 2014 10:32 AM

    Anyone who thinks this guy is going to be a starter has not seen him play last year and just tuned into the highlight shows. If you watched the games, you would know he is at least 2 years away from competing for a starting role. He can be effective for you early in a rotational capacity and will provide plenty of exciting plays down the field, but that is all he can do right now.

    Sadly most fans will think that if he reels in 1-2 big plays a game he is a starter because it gets them fantasy points. His game needs serious refinement and he is only a deep route specialist at this point.

    All he has now is speed and size, and that won’t be enough at the NFL level. He’s going to need to work hard on his footwork, route running and how to gain separation in order to be effective in the NFL. I don’t know if you can fix his bad hands. That you either have or you don’t imo. Put him on Juggs duty for weeks, it won’t matter much. Catching is as much about technique as it is about confidence and comfort. I think the kid either doesn’t trust his hands or panics when he has gets a chance to think about it. Usually the case with the guys who can pull in circus catches but drop a well placed simple throw.

  15. clevelandrocksyourface says: May 12, 2014 10:37 AM

    Too bad he’ll be going up against Haden/Gilbert twice a year. There go your stats, buddy. By the way, it’s black and YELLOW.

  16. dietrich43 says: May 12, 2014 10:37 AM

    Yeah, he might start. In three years.

  17. steelerfanjo says: May 12, 2014 10:47 AM

    Everyone loves to hate on the Steelers, the greatest franchise in NFL history.

  18. ryanclark25 says: May 12, 2014 10:49 AM

    Limas Sweed was my favourite Pittsburgh player ever, I actually considered buying his jersey…That was when I played Madden 08 and he was the receiver I wanted him to be in real life :P Funnily enough I always traded for DHB in Madden 10 for the same reason….

    Let’s not rush this guy, if we do it right, he will be a weapon no doubt, but unlike years passed we cannot afford our rookies to fail, I’m willing to wait as long as it takes with him we have Brown and Moore and if any of Dri Archer (i’m picturing him more as a receiver than a rb)/DHB/Bryant work out this year then that’s an added bonus. One thing is for certain, the offense got much more exciting this offseason, Bell/Blount bring back traditional Steelers running, and Archer/Bryant could easily provide the X factor.

  19. bobzilla1001 says: May 12, 2014 11:00 AM

    The Steelers drafted several players who could possibly start immediately. They could possibly start not necessarily because they are can’t-miss blue-chippers but because the team has little depth due to the poor drafts and the poor personnel decisions of the past few years.

  20. pittspuke7 says: May 12, 2014 11:01 AM

    The Pittsburgh theme of the 2014 draft could well be, “Welcome to the Steelers; yes you can start for us this season because since being Tebowed out of the playoffs years ago the Steelers have not had a winning record despite playing in a weak AFC conference against powerhouse teams like the Browns, Bills,Jaguars, Titans,Raiders, Texans, Jets, and Dolphins

  21. Moudabo says: May 12, 2014 11:06 AM

    I’ll take a late round dynamic situational player, who might be vying for a starter job in 2-3 yrs anytime, and twice on Sunday. Receivers usually need a year or two to adjust to the NFL anyways. How many 4th rounders do you think will be around in 3 yrs ?

  22. crownofthehelmet says: May 12, 2014 11:19 AM

    Solid signing of a likely 2014 starter.

    Have to tip my hat to Cincy for doing the same thing with McCarron.

  23. Smash-Mouth.com says: May 12, 2014 11:26 AM

    Bryant has all the physical tools to be a solid WR in the pros, provided he gets the right coaching and matures a little bit. I’m hoping that happens in Pittsburgh.

    As far as him starting next year, I think there’s a fairly slim chance of that. I give the edge there to Markus Wheaton, who I think may surprise some people next season.

  24. manzoa says: May 12, 2014 11:49 AM

    What a shock…all the losers who post here regularly and know nothing about football ripping the kid and the choice. People who actually know football…including respected analysts like Mike Mayock…love the pick. Bryant is young and raw but with coaching all the natural skills are there and he has a chance to be a really good WR. At 6’4″ and with a vertical of 39 and 4.42 40 speed, he will be a real red zone threat which is why he was drafted in the first place. BTW trolls, do some research before you spew your hate unless you don’t mind being imbeciles.

  25. bobzilla1001 says: May 12, 2014 1:11 PM

    The only time Mayock, Kiper and McShay are “respected” is when they say something complementary about your favorite team. Funny how that works.
    Dick LeBeau, perhaps the greatest defensive mind in the game’s history, has already said that the Steelers’ first two picks have an excellent chance of starting — this season — because there are no longer superstars standing in the way. I’m assuming the same goes for an offense that once again couldn’t crack the top-15 in scoring last season.

  26. jtbsteeler says: May 12, 2014 2:51 PM

    Look at our offense and look at the rest of the AFCN.
    Look at our draft and look at the rest of the AFCN.

    Haha, I smell the fear.

    Also, keep hating on Dri Archer. I can’t wait for the season.

  27. nofvcksgiven says: May 12, 2014 4:41 PM

    Need to bring back Wake-n-Bake Holmes

  28. screbels89 says: May 12, 2014 4:44 PM

    sorry guys, Im a Clemson fan but Martavis has a lot of room to grow. Average blocker, average route runner, great speed, tremendous size, got way better at winning contetsed balls last year but not gonna be a 30-40 catch, 800 yard guy for several years. Temper your expectations to 3-4 red zone TDs and 20 balls this year.

  29. jmblosser82 says: May 12, 2014 4:49 PM

    who is going to save the Bengal franchise? No playoff wins since 1990. Ben has 10 playoff wins, plus Maddox, Stewart, Tomczak, Brister, and O’Donald all have wins in Pittsburgh.

    If 8-8 in 2 rebuilding/retooling is bad, I’ll take it. They missed the playoffs due to a poor start and 3 poor call in the Chiefs/Chargers game. Bryant may not be the answer but he does fill a role. Steelers are still a threat for the playoffs and the divisional round but still 1-3 years from making a serious SB run.

  30. steelcityguru says: May 12, 2014 4:52 PM

    i think the key for him for living up to his upside is his confidence and his technique. the rest is up to the coach”s i hope he turns out great

  31. thepittsburghkid says: May 12, 2014 5:35 PM

    Since I have been coming on here, it’s been the same thing from the disenfranchised Ravens/Bengal fans after every Steelers draft. Funny how the the screen names have changed but the fear remains the same. The landlord of the AFC North will be knocking down the door again this year. After two rebuilding years of 8-8 (yes, even in our rebuilding years we don’t have losing seasons) the kings of fcuk mountain are back. Yes Browns fans, I didn’t mention you. You don’t even deserve to play us. I guess if you can’t beat them, join them. Haslam has made you the Steelers JV team.

  32. mikemyditka says: May 12, 2014 6:17 PM

    Its amazing how concerned fans from other teams are about the Steelers’ 4th round pick.

    Who was it your team got in the 4th round again? Oh yeah, I remember now- no one cares.

    Martavis Bryant will contribute right away, and unless you are a QB or on the Offensive line, being a “starter” doesnt matter. Its all about packages and your snap count. But yes, he will definitely play.

    Could he can have a rookie season like Mike Wallace? Its possible he may be asked to do similar things. Though he’s not as fast (few are) he’s longer and can make more catches vertically than Mike could.

    Wallace’s rookie numbers were as follows:

    2009: 16 games (4 starts)

    39 catches 756 yards 6 TDs 19.4 YPC

    Those numbers are doable, and I’d argue that Martavis’s length makes him a better red zone threat.

    So for a 4th round pick, I think every team in the league would take that. The dude’s got potential.

  33. freddieizzyb says: May 12, 2014 8:19 PM

    clevelandrocksyourface says:
    May 12, 2014 10:37 AM
    Too bad he’ll be going up against Haden/Gilbert twice a year. There go your stats, buddy. By the way, it’s black and YELLOW.

    —————————————————-
    Oohhhh Haden! What’s your point? They win 4 games per year with over rated Haden. The steelers and Ben own him. Come back and talk trash when the browns are a threat. They want be next year, sorry

  34. troy43mvp says: May 12, 2014 9:37 PM

    No rush on starting him. He may be a good option in the red zone. Has to prove it in camp though.

  35. pabrownsfan says: May 13, 2014 7:35 AM

    Good pick for were he was taken.

  36. steelcurtainn says: May 13, 2014 12:41 PM

    Bryants going to be a handful for teams with his size and speed. Good luck trying to cover all the steelers receivers. Big Ben should put up good numbers again.

  37. steelersnowand4ever says: May 14, 2014 9:10 AM

    qdog112 says:May 12, 2014 10:13 AM

    This is my guy. The Steelers got an absolute STEAL! Not only will he start, he will excel. He is a 6’5″ Mike Wallace, with diverse route skill.

    God I hope not. Wallace was a “gimmee the ball guy”, we need a team player!!

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