At 6-foot and 190 pounds, Mike Wallace will never be confused for the big-bodied receivers that everyone is searching to be their real-life No. 1 in the NFL: your
The offseason has been quite a tumultuous one for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was charged with sexual assault and was subsequently suspended for the first six games of the upcoming season. Shortly afterwards,
Wallace’s 2009 rookie stats were as such: 39 receptions, 756 yards and six touchdowns. The yards per catch average equates to a gaudy 19.4, which was the highest total in the league, by nearly a full yard over second-place DeSean Jackson. The yardage put him third out of all rookie receivers, behind Percy Harvin and Jeremy Maclin, both of whom were the No. 2 receivers on their team.
With Holmes now in
Wallace is your man to do just that.
Wallace is being counted on to take over the split end role in the Steelers offense, a role that he filled at Mississippi, where he was a top 5 receiver in the SEC. Last year, Wallace was targeted 69 times (12.9 percent of total targets). Expect that number to rise significantly this year. The Steelers are counting on Wallace to take up a bigger role in the offense, and he is one of the biggest reasons why they felt comfortable just giving a former Super Bowl MVP away for pennies on the dollar. While he still has some growing to do, particularly in his route running tree, he has all the raw skills and natural ability to become and grow into a better receiver than Holmes. Some may discount him as merely a situational deep threat and nothing else, but, as he showed in Week 3 (7 receptions, 102 yards), he certainly has the ability to run short and intermediate routes as well and will get the opportunity this year, with Holmes out of the picture and no other threats to his job.
Wallace compares favorably to Greg Jennings. With a similar body build, and many of the same strengths, including deep speed, yards after the catch, and soft hands. While he may not approach the stats that
However, a problem may lie in the current quarterback situation. With Roethlisberger currently being suspended for more than a quarter of the year, Wallace and the rest of the
Once Roethlisberger is reinstated, then the show should get back on track. Roethlisberger showed implicit trust in Wallace last year, as the no-second game-winning touchdown pass to Wallace against
Wallace’s average draft position (ADP), according to Gridguru’s always fantastic Monday Morning Mocks (found only in your very own Shark Tank) is currently trending around 6.11. He is, by ADP, the 26th receiver off the board, putting him squarely in WR3 territory. However, he has the opportunity to become much more than that. Take the opportunity to pick him up now, when he’ll be at his cheapest for quite some time.