There are not a lot of meaningful conclusions that you can reach about a player after the end of his first season, but that certainly doesn’t stop people from talking about it. You can find just about any variety of analysis that you would care to read if you just look for it, complete with bold letter grades.
I’m not going to do that. But I am going to talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2016 NFL Draft class, both collectively, in this article, as well as individually, in succeeding articles.
The Steelers entered the draft process this past year with seven draft picks, including their natural draft picks sans their fifth, which they gave up in a trade for Brandon Boykin, plus an extra seventh-round pick in exchange for Brad Wing.
In contrast to recent history, the Steelers received significant playing time on defense from three rookies, while also getting some minor contributions from some late-round picks to boot. In terms of rookie seasons, it was the most successful class in recent memory.
Player: Canaan Severin
Draft Status: undrafted
For a guy who spent his rookie season on the injured reserve list as an undrafted free agent, wide receiver Canaan Severin still gets brought up quite a bit in the comments section here when discussing the Steelers’ potential wide receiver group for the 2017 season.
Of course, the team just had an undrafted rookie who got injured before the preseason and spent his rookie year on injured reserve come in last year and make an impact. That would be Eli Rogers, who was the team’s starting slot receiver and caught a couple of touchdowns in the process, finishing second on the team in multiple receiver categories.
The team does seem to have a penchant for keeping unheralded receivers around in order to get a better look at them in year two. C.J. Goodwin joined the team well after the draft, was injured and didn’t play during the preseason, and then spent the entire year on the practice squad despite being an undrafted rookie. He didn’t ultimately make the team the following year…but he did play cornerback in the Super Bowl for the Falcons.
As for Severin, he does at least offer a decent size. He caught 101 passes for 1371 yards and 13 touchdowns during his college career at Virginia, with more than half of each of those numbers coming in his senior season.
A player of Severin’s status, when he suffers an injury of the nature of the shoulder that he dealt with in early August, would typically find himself waived with an injury and then be done with it. But after he went unclaimed, the Steelers kept him on their injured reserve list.
Even still, it’s hard to see him making the roster in 2017 unless multiple factors play against their receiving corps reaching the potential that they should have based on the talent that is already in the room. But you know there will be at least a few people on these boards rooting for him to make it over, say, Sammie Coates or Justin Hunter.