In June, Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Chase Claypool appeared on the I AM ATHLETE podcast and said he knew "for a fact" that he was a top-five, or even top-three, receiver in the NFL.
On Sunday, he returned to the podcast and offered more insight into those comments (1:47 mark) after receiving backlash:
"What would be worse? Saying I'm top-three, or aiming for my goal to be a top-50 receiver? People would clown me more if I said that," Claypool told Brandon Marshall and LeSean McCoy. "Like you said, to be a top-three receiver everything has to go right. So it might not be this year, it might not be next year, but to have top-three capabilities and believe in that, that's something else. You have to believe in that, and then put in the work, and it'll come."
There's little doubt Claypool is physically impressive and loaded with potential. The 24-year-old proved as much in his rookie season, catching 62 passes for 873 yards and nine scores. But he stagnated in his second year, notching 59 receptions for 860 yards and two scores.
Hardly shabby numbers but not yet in the realm of "top three."
Back in June, Claypool predicted he'd post 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns this upcoming season. That would certainly get him in the conversation, and Claypool is right—aiming to be one of the top receivers in the league is more admirable than being content with being a middle-of-the-road option.
He still has a long road ahead of him in that quest, however.