Steelers select WR, JuJu Smith-Schuster from USC

The Steelers add to their already dynamic offense by selecting wideout, JuJu Smith-Schuster from the University of Southern California.

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Oct 8, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (9) is pursued by Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon (23) in the fourth quarter during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Colorado 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (9) is pursued by Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon (23) in the fourth quarter during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Colorado 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Smith-Schuster comes to the Steelers late in the second round and will immediately provide an insurance policy for newly reinstated Martavis Bryant. Smith-Schuster projects as an outside wide receiver with the Steelers but the Steelers most likely will look to get him on the field early in his career in three wide receiver sets.

Should Bryant be suspended again or should the Steelers decide to move on from Bryant, JuJu will be able to slide into his position as the physical outside wide receiver opposite of Antonio Brown


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Smith-Schuster makes plays with his physicality and can win against corners on 50/50 balls but will not provide big plays with pure speed only. Smith-Schuster clocked in with a 4.54-second 40-yard dash at the combine and also has more than just pure speed.

What Smith-Schuster may lack in speed, he makes up with his strength and bull-dog-type demeanor with the ball in his hands. Smith-Schuster is able to overpower corners with stiff-arms and a quick turn upfield which helps provide another run-after-catch threat for the Steelers’ wide receiver group.

The Steelers will need to work to keep Smith-Schuster involved in the offense as he at times disappeared for USC last season. With Antonio Brown, Le‚ÄôVeon Bell, and Martavis Bryant taking up the attention of opposing defenses, the Steelers should be able to find matchups to take advantage of Smith-Schuster’s skills and get him targets early in his rookie season.

Steven Farrow covers the Pittsburgh Steelers for cover32 and can be reached on Twitter @SteelerSteven32.

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