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: WR Amara Darboh
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: While he is not currently inside the proverbial roster bubble at wide receiver, he has the most experience among the players standing outside of it, including his prior experience with the Steelers.
This might sound like a stretch under the circumstances, but remember that ‘up’ and ‘down’ are relative terms based on where a player’s stock was from his previous evaluation, or in light of recent circumstances.
And given the current situation, I would argue that Amara Darboh is now better-positioned than others like Anthony Johnson, Quadree Henderson, and Saeed Blacknail to make a run at claiming a final spot on the 53-man roster for the wide receiver position.
Some of you may not remember this, but Darboh spent time on the practice squad last year. In fact, while he did not play, he was called up to the 53-man roster by the end of the season to replace Tevin Jones, after he struggled and dropped two passes in one game.
At 6’2” and 215 pounds, a former third-round draft pick who really only picked up football in high school, Darboh still has a lot of upside even as he enters his fourth offseason since he was originally drafted out of Michigan in 2017.
Some may not be familiar with his background, but he was born in Sierra Leone in Africa, and his parents were killed when he was just two, his family fleeing from the violence of a civil war, later moving around the Gambia and Senegal before finally relocating to the United States at the age of seven.
As an NFL player, he did see some playing time during his rookie season with the Seahawks, catching eight passes for 71 yards. He spent his second season on injured reserve following a training camp embattled with leg and clavicle injuries. He dealt with hip issues last summer before the Seahawks released him again.
He briefly spent some time with the Buccaneers last year, on the active roster for a couple of weeks, but was released in early November. The Steelers signed him to their practice squad on November 18, promoted December 16, where he would finish the season.