Now that the 2020 offseason has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, 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: Up
In a way, you can certainly say that this is a big year for Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, now a third-year outside linebacker who is a former undrafted free agent, and somebody who hasn’t gotten much of an opportunity to contribute yet during his career.
On top of that, the Steelers just drafted a player at this position in the third round in Alex Highsmith. Obviously, they want to see Highsmith succeed. But they’re not just going to put him out there on the field if Adeniyi shows himself to be better.
And so far as we can tell, it looks like he is putting in the work. while there hasn’t been and won’t be any Spring workouts through the team, many players have worked out on their own, and we recently saw a number of Steelers players gather to train with Brandon Jordan.
Adeniyi was one of them, and frankly, he looked pretty great from a physical conditioning standpoint. That’s really what this particular evaluation is about, to be honest, because the pickings are slim these days, so yeah, I’m pretty much picking up the scraps at this point, admittedly.
But these pieces at least give us the chance to open up a discussion about players, and Adeniyi is somebody around whom there has been a lot of discussion. About 21-22 months ago, we were talking about him being the next James Harrison, after all.
Part of what has held him back has been his own health. He actually spent most of his rookie season on injured reserve. He missed most of training camp and the preseason last year with an injury as well, and while he made it back for the start of the season, you have to think that affected him too.
Pittsburgh has its starters in T.J. Watt and Bud Dupre, though the future of the latter after the 2020 season is yet to be determined. But there is no such thing as too many good pass rushers. It’s time for Ola to show that he is one of them in 2020. And he’s looking the part so far. Dress for the job you want, they say.