In his news conference on Tuesday, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said some interesting things about his next opponent, the Green Bay Packers. Notably, he appears to like one of their pass-catchers, youngster Jayden Reed.
“I Really like the young slot out of Michigan State. I thought he was the most complete interior or slot receiver in this past draft. I think the trajectory of his play illustrates that”.
Reed was a bit of a surprise pick at the time, as he was ranked 89th on the consensus draft board but was selected 50th overall, ahead of receivers like Rashee Rice, Jalen Hyatt, Cedric Tillman, and Josh Downs, who were all ranked higher on public draft boards. However, for the time being, the Packers appear to have benefited from the selection.
Through eight games, Reed has outgained both Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson — the Packers’ two “starting” receivers in two-receiver sets. Reed, as Tomlin mentioned, typically plays in the slot, which is why he has played just 57 percent of Green Bay’s total offensive snaps this season.
Doubs has played 80 percent of the snaps, while Christian Watson has played 49 percent of the snaps despite missing three games and leaving last week’s action early. Given the Steelers’ past record at receiver under Tomlin, this should be interpreted as a good indicator that he likes Reed.
The Steelers have picked the following receivers without utilizing a first-round choice since Tomlin took over as head coach in 2007: George Pickens, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace, Martavis Bryant, and Antonio Brown.