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Steelers Grab WR/PR Demarcus Ayers in the 7th

April 30, 2016
1 minute read
Steelers Grab WR/PR Demarcus Ayers in the 7th

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ first offensive skill player drafted in 2016 seems more of a punt returner than a wide receiver at the next level. Houston’s Demarcus Ayers, selected 229th overall, returned 28 punts for 290 yards and a touchdown last season.

My take: No speed, no problem? Ayers’ 4.7 40-yard dash time coupled with his listed height of 5-foot-9 makes him an underdog to make the receiver rotation. But special teams coordinator Danny Smith loves Ayers as a returner. “The kid plays fast,” he said. But because of the Steelers’ receiver depth, they will likely need any returner to contribute on offense.

It’s not like he can’t play that side of the ball. In 2015, Ayers caught 98 passes for 1,222 yards, the latter good enough for the No. 18 national ranking. Ayers faces an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster and will likely be in contention for slot receiver Eli Rogers for a spot somewhere.

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