It has felt like an eternity since the Pittsburgh Steelers have hit the field, luckily that ends tomorrow as the team heads to Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both these teams seem to be heading in different directions, with the Steelers being winners of five in a row while the lowly Jaguars have lost five in a row. As for the Steelers’ own roster development, there are many players who have seen their stock increase or decrease heading into tomorrow’s game. Take a look below to get up to date on all the Steelers’ stock movement.
RB Jaylen Samuels – Stock Up
Backup running back Jaylen Samuels saw his biggest workload Thursday night, playing in 31% of the Steelers’ offensive snaps. Relieving James Conner, who exited with a concussion, Samuels totalled 29 yards from scrimmage and scored his first touchdown of his NFL career. Head coach Mike Tomlin praised Samuels during his Tuesday press conference as it seems the rookie running back has established his role as the team’s back up running back ahead of veteran Stevan Ridley. Samuels has seen 24 offensive snaps over the last two weeks in comparison to Ridley’s 10 snaps.
CB Artie Burns – Stock N/A
Artie Burns’ inclusion on the stock down section of our report may just become a weekly feature. After playing zero snaps against the Browns and Ravens, Burns returned to play ten snaps in garbage time against the Panthers and it was nothing short of a disaster. Burns’ only notable note was being flagged for a defensive pass interference call in the endzone. There is nothing really left to say about the third-year corner’s poor play. Moving on.
OLB Bud Dupree – Stock Up
Let’s not jinx it but outside linebacker Bud Dupree has been playing great over the last three games. Over his last three games, the outside linebacker has totalled 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hits. Perhaps the numbers still do not do Dupree justice as the linebacker has been causing tremendous pressure since the Steelers met the Cleveland Browns in week eight. Dupree’s 4.5 sacks are tied for second on the team, just behind T.J. Watt’s eight and his 10 quarterback hits are tied for third on the team. The outside linebacker has been a splendid surprise for the Steelers lately, a trend that hopefully continues down the stretch.
OT Marcus Gilbert – Stock Down
Steelers’ tackle Marcus Gilbert is working his way back from a knee injury this week after missing the last three games. Gilbert’s bill of health this season has been inconsistent as the tackle has played just five games. Over the last two seasons, the veteran right tackle has missed 13 games while playing in just 12 games. In both seasons, the Steelers have not missed a beat thanks to the emergence of players such as Matt Feiler and Chris Hubbard. Gilbert is going to need a consistent bill of health and play to regain his lost value.
WR Ryan Switzer – Stock Up
Wide receiver Ryan Switzer has been a useful tool for the Steelers offense over the last couple of weeks, especially on third down. The Steelers’ wide receiver has caught five passes over the last two games with four of them coming on third down. All four of these third down receptions have given the Steelers a new set of downs as well. Over the last three games, Switzer has played 19,13 and 8 snaps respectively. While rookie receiver James Washington struggles to hold down the #3 spot on the wide receiver depth chart, Switzer has been making the most out of his opportunities.
With a five-game win streak, it would be an injustice to just praise three individuals, so here are some more quick hitters.
OLB T.J. Watt – Stock Up
The younger Watt brother has 13 tackles, two sacks, three quarterback hits and a forced fumble over his last three games.
S Sean Davis – Stock Up
The difference in Sean Davis’ play from this season to last season has been night and day. Since switching to free safety this season, Davis has been one of the more consistent defenders on the field. The safety has been one of the more consistent tacklers on the Steelers this season as after missing 23 tackles last season, Davis has missed just eight tackles this season according to our charting.
CB Joe Haden – Stock Up
Joe Haden has been having a tremendous year for the Steelers thus far, making many wonder if Haden has found the fountain of youth. The cornerback has not heard his name called during the broadcast, mainly because he has so rarely been targeted. Over the five-game win streak, Haden has locked down such star receivers as Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Michael Crabtree and Devin Funchess.