2021 Team Outlook: Pittsburgh Steelers
We have decided to take a look at all 32 NFL teams ahead of the preseason and break down the team position by position. Of course we will be finding all kinds of names that we desperately want to find signed jerseys, autographed helmets and all sorts of sports collectibles in our NFL live breaks. Today we will take a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers have been a force in the AFC North for as long as most people can remember. That said, this feels like the team’s last hurrah. After losing the division to Baltimore and getting beat up by the Browns in the playoffs, this could be Big Ben’s last chance to win a ring. Let’s take a look at the team overall.
As mentioned before, Big Ben is reaching the end of his career. He had stretches last season where he looked like his old self but there would be other times where he looked like age and surgeries were catching up with him. Dwayne Haskins was added in the offseason and does offer some potential upside in the future if he can put everything together.
After being somewhat lost at this position over the past couple seasons, the Steelers decided to make a strong push at the running back and drafted Najee Harris. The Alabama prospect was the first running back taken off of the board and for good reason. He can be a true 3 down back that will win between the tackles and catch passes out of the backfield. Behind him Anthony McFarland and Kalen Ballage likely won’t factor much into the equation.
This is a very deep unit. It was always presumed that Juju Smith-Schuster would be the team’s top wideout, but last year Dionte Johnson and Chase Claypool showed that they are ready to take over the team. Juju led the team in targets but his average depth of target was below 6 yards and that’s part of the reason this passing attack lost a bit of it’s fire. James Washington is also on this roster but at this point he isn't much more than a depth piece.
In the 2nd round of this year’s draft, the Steelers once again focused on an offensive skill position and took Pat Freirmuth from Penn State. This do-it-all TE is coming off of a big injury, but should be good to go week 1. However, Eric Ebron will likely be the top target in the passing game this season from this position.
In the glory days, this was always the strongest part of this team. Unfortunately, this line really struggled in the running game last season and didn't add any significant new pieces. Maurkice Pouncey, their longtime starting center, also retired this season although he wasn't much of a factor anymore. The brightest spot on this line though is former 4th round pick Keving Dotson. Look for him to improve from last year’s rookie campaign.
The trio of Tuitt, Heyward and Alualu have all been around for a while but they are still super effective. We should all be expecting similar production in 2021.
This unit lost Bud Dupree in free agency, but any group with TJ Watt is a good one. The real one to watch is Devin Bush. The former first round pick dealt with some injuries in 2020 but assuming health, he could be an absolute wrecking ball in 2021.
Remember when everyone was giving Pittsburgh a hard time about trading a first round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick… yeah, the Steelers made a good call. Joe Haden has had a real career resurgence in his time with Pittsburgh and it doesn’t seem like father time has caught up to him just yet. All of that being said, with how the Browns, Ravens and Bengals are trending, this crew will need to have a big 2021 to succeed. Oh, and don't forget that Ultimate Autographs has awesome signed collectibles and memorabilia like this Fitzpatrick autographed jersey.