"I look forward to him taking a significant step for us. I know that we need him to."
- Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on wide receiver Markus Wheaton
SB Nation NFL
SB Nation NFL
The Steelers have lost Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders in consecutive offseasons, but there is a young wide receiver waiting to make an impact. Markus Wheaton, who was drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, is expected to take a big step forward this season.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is expecting a big jump from Wheaton in year two after he struggled with injuries as a rookie. The Steelers also lost Jerricho Cotchery in free agency, so finding help on the roster will be key. Leading into the draft, the Steelers' top receivers are Antonio Brown, Wheaton and Lance Moore, who was signed in free agency.
"Trading for Williams also makes it less likely that the Bills will target one of the top wide receiver prospects — Clemson's Sammy Watkins or Texas A&M's Mike Evans — with the ninth overall pick in next month's NFL draft."
- Mike Rodak, ESPN.com
The wide receiver market took another interesting turn when the Bills traded a sixth-round pick to the Buccaneers for Mike Williams. According to Mike Rodak, who covers the Bills for ESPN.com, the trade could take Buffalo out of the running for Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Rodak added that the Bills will likely hang on to Stevie Johnson at least through the 2014 season. Williams was more of a low-risk trade that gives the Bills a bit of depth and upside in their wide receiver group. Now the team can focus its attention elsewhere in the first round.
"So at this point, my feeling is that whatever the club could get in return (projected here as a late-round pick at best) pales in comparison to the value Mallett has on the roster as Tom Brady's insurance policy."
Mike Reiss, ESPN.com
Ryan Mallett has long been considered one of the top trade options for teams in need of a quarterback. He hasn't gotten much playing time as Tom Brady's backup in New England, but has the upside to potentially start elsewhere in the league. However, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, Mallett wouldn't have gotten the Patriots anything more than a late-round draft choice in a trade.
At this point, that shouldn't come as a huge surprise. If the Patriots could have gotten anything for Mallett, they probably would have already moved him. Plus, as Reiss notes, Mallett has value to the Patriots as a backup, considering they don't have much else on the roster behind Brady.
"They have Anthony Fasano as their starter but Travis Kelce will be their pass-receiver at tight end. Kelce is an important piece of their passing game."
- Adam Teicher, ESPN.com
Travis Kelce came into his rookie season with high expectations but didn't quite live up to the hype in his first year with the Chiefs. He suffered a knee bruise in the preseason and was eventually put on injured reserve early in the year. Kansas City has a plan for Kelce in year two, though. According to Adam Teicher of ESPN.com, the Chiefs expect Kelce to be their pass-catching tight end and an important piece of the offense in that role. However, the Chiefs are still expected to have Anthony Fasano as the starting tight end, which could complicate things for Kelce.