With the 2017 NFL Draft now over and the bulk of the heavy lifting done with regard to the roster building process now out of the way, it is easier to begin to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand at certain positions, and what the implications might be of a variety of moves for certain players.
And take stock is what we shall do, as every move has ramifications up and down the roster, so now we will take a look at some specific players and see how the team’s moves during the course of the offseason thus far, and more specifically since the draft, have sent their stock rising, falling, or breaking even.
Player: WR Martavis Bryant
Stock Value: Up
This is an easy one. While the initial weeks following his conditional reinstatement may have been somewhat tumultuous, everything has been on an upward trajectory for Martavis Bryant ever since he was able to report to the Steelers to begin practicing during OTAs.
We did hear from him at certain points during his suspension, during which he documented some of his workout regimen. We finally got to see that in action this spring, as he showed up to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex looking quite different than we have been used to.
A 6’4” wide receiver with speed, Bryant came into the league as a rather lanky figure, but he has put on a fair bit of muscle since then and is now evidently pushing toward the 230-pound mark. He has claimed that he is even faster than he was before. Whether or not that is actually true, he didn’t look to be hindered in terms of speed in any way.
Perhaps most significant is the fact that Bryant brought with him back to Pittsburgh a new attitude, and a renewed commitment to his profession, to his body, and to himself. When he spoke to reporters, he did so with confidence and authority, speaking to, rather than at them.
That isn’t going to directly help him catch footballs better or run faster, but it’s certainly going to help keep him on the field. He has already been suspended twice because he struggled to control himself, surrounding himself with negative influences, and reportedly also suffering from depression.
Bryant is a father of three now, not long ago having a son, and he talked about being a family man first and foremost at this point in his life. He doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize his family. That is a powerful motivation.
Put simply, everything seems to be falling into place for the former fourth-round pick to have the sort of re-emergence that we were all hoping for. It has all sounded good so far, and he has been said to look very good in practice. Now we just need to see it in games.