Now that the 2019 season is over, with a team other than ours having been crowned champion and there being much work to do to return to that status, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: OLB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi
Stock Value: Down
Second-year jumps are one of the biggest clichés in football, because there is a good matter of truth behind them. Quite a lot of players make their most significant amount of progress from their first season to their second because they have to think a lot less and are able to play more naturally. For some, it might take longer.
The point is, we didn’t see the second-year jump from Olasunkanmi Adeniyi after he got Steeler Nation in a tizzy thanks to his 2018 preseason performance, in which he recorded three sacks with two forced fumbles. He spent the entire year on the 53-man roster, but he barely played—fewer than 70 defensive snaps the entire year, and registered just two tackles, though he did managed to force two fumbles on special teams.
One could argue, I suppose, for his stock being up for the fact that he was able to establish himself as a regular contributor on special teams. He played a couple hundred snaps in that phase after spending most of his rookie season being a healthy scratch.
A lot of people expected him to work his way into some sort of rotation on the defense, working behind T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree. Frankly, there were people who thought he should start ahead of Dupree before the regular season began.
But instead, thanks in no small part to an injury that he dealt with in training camp and the preseason, we didn’t really learn anything about Adeniyi. Rather, we got all excited about his former teammate, Tuzar Skipper, who had an even more impactful rookie preseason, even though he would end up spending more time playing for the New York Giants than for the Steelers.