If Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Ryan Switzer reaches the lofty goal he’s set for himself, it will be a shock to all the naysayers on social media who think he’s, well, delusional.
“I believe I will be one of the best slot receivers in the NFL…. I have no doubt I’ll be up there and I’ll be talked about like Edelman is, like Welker was. Like Jamison Crowder, Cole Beasley,” said Switzer in an Instagram Live video, via Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Steelers' Ryan Switzer on IG Live says he's in the best shape of his life at 177 lbs: "I believe I will be one of the best slot receivers in the NFL….I have no doubt I’ll be up there and I’ll be talked about like Edelman is, like Welker was, like Jamison Crowder, Cole Beasley."
— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) July 20, 2020
It’s an admirable goal, but is it realistic to think Switzer will develop into a receiver akin to Julian Edelman, who has caught almost 600 passes and scored 36 touchdowns during his ten-year career with the New England Patriots?
Ryan Switzer’s NFL Career
First, let’s take a look at his NFL career to date. Switzer, 5-8 and 185 lbs., was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2017 draft, but lasted just one season in Dallas, catching six passes for 41 yards as a rookie.
He moved on to the Steelers in 2018 and over the past two seasons he has added a total of 44 receptions for 280 yards and one touchdown, while also serving as a punt and kickoff returner.
So far, there’s nothing to indicate that Switzer is on course for a breakout season, either as a slot receiver or returner.
What’s more, it will be a battle for him just to make Pittsburgh’s opening-day roster, as there are four other wide receivers that are a lock to make the team, including JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and rookie second-round draft choice Chase Claypool. Meanwhile, second-year wideout Dionate Johnson flashed greatness as a rookie and is considered a potential breakout player in 2020, and maybe even a future No. 1 receiver.
In all likelihood, Switzer will be fighting for the fifth roster spot, alongside third-year WR Deon Cain and a handful of others who are trying to make a place for themselves in the NFL.
Moreover, even if he makes the team, he may see a limited number of targets, considering the above-named wide receivers and the addition of free-agent tight end Eric Ebron, whose strength is as a receiver.
NFL Twitter Responds to Switzer’s Boast
In light of all this, it’s not a surprise that NFL Twitter had some pointed reactions to Switzer’s prediction.
Twitter user Kenny G, excuse me, Kenneth G said: “2 yard a catch .. ‘fair catch Switzer’ you mean??”
2 yard a catch .. "fair catch switzer" you mean??
At this pt I'd rather take Barry Switzer in the slot
— Kenneth G (@TheRealKennyG27) July 20, 2020
Another simply posted a screen shot from Madden 20, which is pretty self-explanatory:
— michael (@PartidaMichael) July 20, 2020
And another said, “At some point confidence morphs into delusion. I hope he makes the team, unlike a lot of people, but let’s not get silly here, please.”
At some point overconfidence morphs into delusion. I hope he makes the team, unlike a lot of people, but let’s not get silly here, please.
— Doug (@dougblack1950) July 20, 2020
Then there was this particularly harsh critique:
I say this being dead serious but Switzer might be the worst WR in the entire league that has a shot at a 53.
— Pepe Silvia (@OConnor7) July 20, 2020
Finally, I found many different reactions along the lines of this one:
— RCP (@RCPWVAZ) July 20, 2020
However, it’s perhaps worth noting that Julian Edelman didn’t become ‘like Edelman’ until his fifth year in the NFL. In fact, Switzer had 50 catches for 321 yards during his first three years in the NFL, as compared to Edelman, who had 48 catches for 479 yards.
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