Story Poster
Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Steelers WR Chase Claypool Not Feeling Pressure of Being First Pick

April 30, 2020

The 2020 NFL Draft was a different experience or just about everyone involved. 

For the draftees, there were a lot of unanswered questions heading into the draft. They weren't able to go on visits or conduct workouts for teams. 

Receiver Chase Claypool didn't have a clue the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to draft him with the 49th pick. 

"It's hard because it adds to the uncertainty of where I was going to go," Claypool told "You don't know which teams wanted to work you out or have you visit. I feel when you're watching the draft, you're just nervous for every pick because it could really be anyone.

"That's how it was, especially on day two. I knew I could go at any time." 

Despite his nerves, Claypool was able to find comfort of those around him as he went back home to British Columbia for the festivities.

"I was able to come home for the draft and watch with the family," stated Claypool. "It was pretty special for all of us to be together. We hadn't been together for a long time. It was nice to see some friendly faces to kind of celebrate a moment." 

The Steelers are one of the NFL's top franchises and while it still hasn't hit him yet, Claypool knows he'll have all eyes on him. 

"I think when you get drafted to a team like the Steelers, it doesn't seem real," said Claypool. "Slowly and slowly, it starts to click in. 

"It's definitely starting to click. It's a super cool thought and idea of me playing for the Steelers. I think each day, it will get more and more real." 

Following the draft, the faces of the franchise reached out as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster gave the rookie a call.  

"I talked to all the coaches on the offensive side of the ball," explained Claypool. "It was hard to sleep without thinking about the future. It's pretty cool those guys reached out and showing their love." 

Claypool will wait out Covid-19 to see whether or not he heads to Pittsburgh in the coming weeks. 

"Up until I came back here, I was working with TJ Houshmandzadeh," Claypool said. "He's done a really good job. I'm working with him in California, whether I go there for a couple weeks and then up to the facilities, I'm not sure." 

The 6-foot-4, 229-pounder will be in the Steel City soon, but Claypool isn't feeling the pressure of being the Steelers first pick in the 2020 draft. 

"I know what I bring to the table," said Claypool. "I think the organization knows as well. It's not as if I have to overperform or do anything special or different than what I've already done." 

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.