Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Chase Claypool had an up-and-down 2021 season, but he certainly believes in his abilities going into next year.
"I know for a fact I am not like the rest of the guys in the NFL," Claypool said on the I Am Athlete podcast (h/t Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk). "I know I'm a top-five receiver. I know I’m a top-three receiver."
"When I’m working, I'm like, 'I'm a dog.' I’m gonna dog people lined up across from me, too," Claypool said (32:00 in video). "And I've just got to bring that confidence and I've got to bring that spirit and I’ve just got to show people. And it's going to happen. And we're going to rewind this and we're going to see this clip in a little bit and they're going to be like, 'Damn, he was right.'"
Claypool finished last season with 59 catches for 860 yards and two touchdowns, ranking outside the top 30 in the NFL in each category.
Consistency was a problem for Claypool last season, as he topped 100 receiving yards in just one game while failing to reach 50 yards in eight of his 15 regular-season games.
The issues weren't all on the 2020 second-round pick, of course, with Ben Roethlisberger struggling to lead the offense down the stretch. Pittsburgh finished the season fourth in the NFL in passing attempts but just 29th in net yards per attempt.
The question marks at quarterback remain going into 2022 as first-round pick Kenny Pickett battles Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph for the starting job.
Claypool still has plenty of confidence in his own ability heading into his third NFL season. The receiver burst onto the scene with 11 total touchdowns in 16 games as a rookie, and he will try to repeat this type of production in 2022.
With JuJu Smith-Schuster leaving in free agency, the opportunity is there for a big year.