Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster ranks No. 9 by PFF when facing off-man coverage |

Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster ranks No. 9 by PFF when facing off-man coverage

Joe Rutter
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Shuster looks for the ball during minicamp June 13, 2018, at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

JuJu Smith-Schuster not only had some of the best numbers among NFL rookie wide receivers last season. He also was among the most productive receivers — rookies and veterans — when facing off-man coverage.

According to Pro Football Focus rankings, Smith-Schuster was the ninth-most productive receiver when going against off-man coverage, earning him honorable-mention status. Under the criteria of WR rating (or passer rating when targeted), Smith-Schuster had a 127.4 mark for 2017.

Here is what Pro Football Focus wrote:

“Smith-Schuster flourished as a rookie. Against off-man coverage, he caught 43-of-53 targets for 493 receiving yards and six scores, tying him for the most touchdowns versus off-man coverage.”

The top five receivers in off-man coverage were Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill, Robert Woods, Justin Hardy and Brandin Cooks. Included among Smith-Schuster in the honorable-mention category were Marvin Jones Jr., Tyrell Williams, Will Fuller and Albert Wilson.

No Steelers receiver, not even Antonio Brown, was ranked in the top 10 when facing press coverage, according to Pro Football Focus.

Smith-Schuster led all NFL rookies with 917 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 2017. He also was tops with six catches of at least 40 yards.

Smith-Schuster missed all of organized team activities and minicamp with an unspecified knee injury. He is expected to be ready to go when training camp opens July 25.

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