Welcome to the NFL’s 100th anniversary season. By now the excitement from Thursday’s night season opener has transitioned back into anxiety as the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to head to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots. Seeing as it is still just week one, there is not a lot of movement on this week’s stock report but here are the players who are building or losing steam as they enter Sunday night’s game.
S Kameron Kelly – Stock Up
It has been a wild summer for Kameron Kelly. Originally signed by the Steelers following the AAF’s demise, Kelly worked his way up the depth chart, eventually winning the backup safety job. With the recent injury to Sean Davis, Kelly will now make his first NFL start against the reigning Super Bowl champions. Thrown into the deep end, the Steelers are going to see very soon if Kelly sinks or swims.
S Sean Davis – Stock Down
It has been a disappointing calendar year for Sean Davis. The 25-year old safety moved to free safety last season but failed to make an impact, recording just one interception. Davis was not offered a contract extension this offseason and heads into the 2019 season with free agency looming next offseason. Unfortunately, he has not had the start he has hoped for as an injury suffered during the Steelers’ final preseason game will keep him out of the lineup this Sunday.
CB Joe Haden – Stock Up
Fresh off a new contract that could make him one of the richest cornerbacks in NFL history by the end of it, Joe Haden has to be feeling good as he enters the 2019 season. Haden has been the one constant piece in an ever-changing Steelers’ secondary and he has also been a thorn in Tom Brady’s side. The veteran corner had a game saving interception last season against Brady and will be looking to pick up right where he left off.
WR Donte Moncrief – Stock Even
Donte Moncrief is going to be the #2 receiver but no player had a more middling preseason than the former Jaguars’ receiver. Moncrief caught just three passes for 12 yards with one of those three catches also resulting in a fumble. Fortunately, Moncrief is going to have an easy chance to move his needle upwards as he will have a chance to show off the chemistry between himself and Ben Roethlisberger, a connection that was talked about all throughout training camp.
WR James Washington – Stock Up
James Washington is going to have all the chances in the world to change his name from Mr. August to Mr. Primetime this Sunday. Washington had another dominant preseason, catching ten passes for 208 yards and will look to carry that momentum into the regular season. Named the Steelers’ third receiver behind JuJu Smith-Schuster and Moncrief, Washington is still going to see the field plenty thanks to the Steelers’ frequently using three wide receiver sets. The second-year pro had a big game last season against the Patriots and he will likely have to contribute a few big plays again should the Steelers hope to emerge victorious.
LB Devin Bush – Stock Down
After an impressive preseason, rookie linebacker Devin Bush seemed set for the matchup of a lifetime in week one against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Unfortunately, that looks it will have to wait as Mike Tomlin seemed to imply that the team would limit his snaps considering that it is Bush’s first time playing meaningful football in an NFL stadium, against the defending Super Bowl champions nonetheless.