Pittsburgh Steelers select OSU's Markus Wheaton

Pittsburgh Steelers select OSU's Markus Wheaton

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have chosen former Oregon State wide receiver Markus Wheaton in the third round of the NFL draft.

The 6-foot-1 Wheaton caught 91 passes for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Beavers in 2012. The Steelers are in need of depth at receiver after Mike Wallace left for the Miami Dolphins last month.

Wheaton also gives the Steelers some versatility. He also ran for 631 yards during his collegiate career with an average of 7.3 yards per carry.

The 22-year-old Wheaton will compete with veterans Plaxico Burress and Jerricho Cotchery for a spot behind starters Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.

Wheaton is the first wide receiver to be taken in the NFL Draft since Sammie Stroughter was taken in the seventh round of the 2009 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Wheaton’s selection marks the 13th consecutive year that an Oregon State alum has been taken in the NFL Draft. Since 2001 Oregon State, Oregon, USC, Cal and ASU are the only Pac-12 teams with at least one NFL Draft selection. It is the first selection of a former Beaver by Pittsburgh since Keenan Lewis went to the Steelers in the third round of the 2009 draft.