The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Which buzzworthy player are you not buying into as we head into training camp?
It’s only natural. Every year, we tend to get high or low on players that we don’t know a whole lot about based on what we think we know or can project for the future. Everybody has their sleepers and their duds. We’ll get to the sleepers before training camp, but today I want to start with the flip side.
Who are the players about whom there is ‘buzz’ that you think will fizzle when it counts? In other words, who do you think is not going to live up to their hype? Since we’re dealing with vague terminology here, it’s up to you to decide what ‘buzz’ is to you and who qualifies as buzzworthy. Use your own judgement in answering the question.
I’m not going to pick out the names of players that I think are not going to be who many think they are, but I will try to throw out a few answers that I expect to see in the comments. The first one is Jaylen Samuels. Though just a fifth-round draft pick, there is quite a bit of vocal support for him, and believe in him being a steal in the draft. He’s already gotten buzz from his teammates as well.
Justin Hunter would be another. Mike Tomlin has spoken of him as though the team is depending on his contributions this season, while teammates have been impressed with his work this spring in comparison to last spring. He seems to be in position as the number four receiver at the moment.
Another veteran is Vance McDonald. In theory, he has the talent to be a Pro Bowler. Will he ever be healthy enough to come close to that? Even when he is healthy, he still drops passes, but the thought is that his big-play potential offsets those drops.
There are so many possibilities that I can quickly run out of room, so I’ll just throw one more name out there for now. Let’s go with Mason Rudolph. One of the knocks on him is that he just doesn’t have the arm strength to be an elite quarterback. He has traits—timing, placement—to offset that some, but is that enough? Is he mobile enough, competent enough under pressure?