The Pittsburgh Steelers got good news and bad news about their star receiver Chase Claypool this week. The bad news: Claypool would be out of commission with a toe injury. The good news: It wasn’t season-ending as initially feared.
In the wake of the injury sidelining Claypool for Week 10 versus the Detroit Lions, the Steelers elevated Steven Sims to the Active/Inactive roster from the practice squad.
In September, Sims, 24, joined Pittsburgh’s practice squad after spending two seasons with the Washington Football Team. There, he built a bit of a rapport with Dwayne Haskins, who now sits as the Steelers’ third quarterback. Sims amassed 575 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 61 receptions (per Pro Football Reference) while adding 103 yards on the ground (10 attempts) and another score.
Because of his speed and dual-threat ability, Sims drew comparisons to Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill coming out of college. R.C. Fischer of College Football Metrics wrote the following in his scouting report on Sims:
When I watch Sims on tape… He’s fast…super-fast…like maybe 4.3+ 40-time fast.
Not just long distance fast, he also has great short-speed/acceleration as well as exquisite agility.
Watching his footwork off the snap and the routes he could break off…it’s excellent.
The problem is he’s working like a pro around a bunch of FCS-level talent on his own team…at a major conference school! There was no help from QBs or coaching staff to propel him to prominence. Had Sims played at Oklahoma, he might be a top 50-100 prospect today and getting ‘Tyreek Hill’ speculative comps.
What’s impressive to me is not only Sims’ high-end speed-acceleration but his route running ability (he’s an ankle breaker to try to cover) and his hands/concentration on catches. He made some pretty sweet grabs in-between all those speed plays on his highlight reel…and some stellar stop/change-of-direction-on-a-dime moves that left DBs stuck in the mud trying to do the same.
Sims has the whole package for the NFL…
I really believe Sims is a gem totally hidden by circumstances and surroundings that camouflaged how good/great he might be.
It hasn’t turned out that way for Sims, but maybe he’ll get an opportunity to flash a little bit of what Fischer saw in him two years ago.
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(Not) Miller Time
The announcement of Sims getting the nod over Anthony Miller has Steelers fans up in arms.
The reason is apparent after digging into his numbers: Sims offers electrifying value as a return specialist. This is a smart move by Pittsburgh, given the recent struggles of Ray-Ray McCloud. In Week 9 versus the Chicago Bears, McCloud got cute and fumbled trying to make something out of nothing on a punt return and nearly gave the game up for Pittsburgh.
As for Sims, he averaged 24.6 yards per for 861 yards on kickoff returns in Washington. He scored a 91-yarder to boot, earning NFC Special Teams Player of Week honors on November 27, 2019.
Sims could give the Steelers that spark they’ve been lacking in the return game.
Answer: On the practice squad.
Nope. Steven Sims.
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