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Mike Wallace: A
Wallace's disappearing act in the second half of the season was not something that he could control. He had only four drops all season. Opposing defenses consistently swayed coverage to his side of the field resulting in Wallace facing a deep safety as well as an off-corner.
Despite this, Wallace still managed to get open well into the final few games of the season. Roethlisberger simply failed to connect with him the way he had previously, often underthrowing or overthrowing him.
Wallace's 72 receptions were impressive for a receiver who is often used as a clear-out player to pull coverage away from his teammates. He is not the type of receiver who needs to have the ball worked to him the way Bruce Arians always talks about doing. He truly is an elite receiver. He proved that this season.
Antonio Brown: A+
I may not necessarily agree with the team's choice as its MVP,—I went for Carnell Lake—but anyone can see that he had a great season. Brown's development and consistency this season was unbelievable for only a second-year receiver.
From early in the preseason, you could see that Brown was going to be a star for the Steelers this year. His route running is clean, his speed is obvious and his commitment is unmatched. Brown was just a speed guy last year, who also got some time on screen plays before one huge reception in the Ravens game, but this year he ran every route in the playbook and rarely dropped a pass.
Brown's stock rose so quickly this season that opposing defensive backs were intimidated by him, for good reason.
Jerricho Cotchery: B+
You rarely ask for much from a team's fifth-choice receiver. Jericho Cotchery on the other hand, isn't your typical fifth-choice receiver. Cotchery showed the Jets that they were wrong to try to replace him ahead of this year by moving up to being the Steelers' third option this year.
Cotchery only had 16 receptions, but he didn't play in every game and fulfilled Hines Ward's slot role expertly. His sure hands and experienced route running made him the perfect complement to the team's other receivers.
Hines Ward: B-
Hines Ward finally lost his place in the Steelers' starting lineup this year, but he was by no means a passenger this year. Ward's greatest impact is coming off the field as receivers like Brown, Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders benefit from his tutelage.
On the field Ward had only 46 receptions, many of which were open passes in the flat. His effectiveness on the field is undoubtedly reduced, but the drop-off is greatly exaggerated outside of Pittsburgh. Ward can still play quality football. It's just the receivers around him are so talented he cannot get on the field.
Emmanuel Sanders: C
To an extent, Sanders gets a pass this year. His offseason foot injury cost him the opportunity to get in a rhythm with his quarterback. Sanders has all the physical tools, but often he and Roethlisberger made different reads against zone defenses. When they did understand each other, Roethlisberger regularly overthrew or misplaced his passes to Sanders.
It was an obvious reflection of a pairing that hadn't had enough time to prepare with each other for the season. Sanders has the abilities to be one of the best receivers in football, but he needs to be healthy year round to do so, including the preseason.
Arnaz Battle: B-
Battle does his job as a special teamer, but he may not be needed next year as some youngsters emerged this year covering kicks.