The Pittsburgh Steelers secured a 27-3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in week ten, which advances their record to 10-0 on the season. There were some standout performances, so lets take a look at the players who have their stock on the move this week.
S Terrell Edmunds – Stock Up
Terrell Edmunds’ stock has been pointing up all season long with solid, but not splashy play. The one knock on him has been the lack of game-impacting plays. He has been a solid tackler, and generally been playing well in coverage, but with a first round draft pick label comes great expectations. He certainly took a step in the right direction against the Jacksonville Jaguars with two interceptions.
The second of the two interceptions was a very athletic leap where he tipped the ball up to himself. This play really illustrated what the Steelers saw in Edmunds coming out of the draft, as many supposedly had him rated lower on their respective big boards. If Edmunds can continue with the momentum from this performance, he can solidify the secondary as the league’s scariest unit.
DL Isaiah Buggs – Stock Down
Isaiah Buggs had his opportunity just a few weeks ago when Tyson Alualu and Chris Wormley were out with injuries to step in, get a bunch of snaps, and prove his value to the team. Unfortunately, up-and-down play and an injury of his own derailed that chance. He did make some big plays in the second half of the first Baltimore Ravens game, but was a healthy scratch in week 11.
When Henry Mondeaux provides special teams value and Chris Wormley provides more experience and versatility, Buggs’ main competition for the last spot is rookie Carlos Davis and for now it appears Davis is winning the battle.
WR Diontae Johnson – Stock Up
When Diontae Johnson is able to stay healthy for more than a week or two at a time, he is the best receiver for the Steelers. When he gets in a rhythm, he is a weekly ten-target candidate. Ben Roethlisberger consistently gets rid of the football quicker than any passer in the league, so the receivers are tasked with creating separation in a hurry. Diontae Johnson’s footwork and route running ability is the perfect combination for these quick crossers and curls that he has been asked to run. Even better, Johnson is dangerous with the ball in his hands as he routinely makes the first defender miss.
In week 11, Johnson had 16 targets, double that of the next receiver, for 111 yards on 12 receptions. It seems the Steelers are fine with having a new featured receiver any given week, but its starting to become apparent that Diontae Johnson is always part of the plan regardless.
RT Chuks Okorafor – Stock Up
Chuks Okorafor deserves a mention for being a new full-time starter this season and holding his own. In week 11, Chuks was up against 1st round rookies K’lavon Chaisson and Josh Allen for much of the game and was part of an offensive line that has now allowed zero sacks on their quarterback for three straight weeks.
At worst, he has proven that he belongs as a starter on an NFL offensive line, but it appears he still has a lot of untapped potential left to explore. His footwork is among the best on the team, and he has recently showed some promise in his hands, being able to counter pass rush moves.
CB Cameron Sutton – Stock Up
Following three straight games with forced fumbles while Mike Hilton was sidelined with an injury, I was very interested to see Cameron Sutton’s snap counts with both healthy on the field. Sutton managed to out snap Hilton, playing 32 snaps to Hilton’s 21. Part of that is Hilton having to hop back on a “moving train” after missing four straight games, but Sutton appears to have earned and retained an important role in the defense. Pro Football Focus has him down for the 3rd highest coverage grade among cornerbacks in the league with a rating of 82.9.
S Sean Davis – Stock Down
It has been a rough year for Sean Davis. After being signed away to the Washington Football Team in the offseason, he failed to make the roster. The Steelers signed him back for a depth role, and he has basically failed to see any game action. The secondary is loaded with talent so it is no surprise, but he adds little value beyond a handful of special teams snaps each week. Even in the three blowout victories (vs. CLE, CIN, JAX) when most depth pieces got a few extra snaps, Sean Davis only got 10 snaps between the three games.