Now that the 2021 offseason has begun, following yet another year of disappointment and a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually, based on what we are seeing over the course of the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season, and their prospects for the future.
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. 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 season as we move forward.
Player: WR Mathew Sexton
Stock Value: Purchased
Reasoning: Yet another new face to the 90-man roster, wide receiver Mathew Sexton was signed about a week and a half ago after he participated in the recent Michigan State Pro Day.
While the Steelers are successfully in retaining their full complement of wide receivers who finished the 2020 season with the team, re-signing unrestricted free agent JuJu Smith-Schuster and restricted free agent Ray-Ray McCloud, they have continued to build some depth with minor pickups.
After previously signing Tyler Simmons, they added another wide receiver in Sexton, an Eastern Michigan product who was granted the opportunity to work out at Michigan State’s Pro Day late last month. His work out resulted in his earning a contract from the Steelers.
According to reports, Sexton ran an exceptionally fast 40-yard dash time in the low 4.3-second range. Of course, one has to keep in mind that these are Pro Day numbers. Those tend to be quicker (and less accurate than computer-timed figures from the NFL Scouting Combine).
After going unsigned last year, he participated in the Spring League. He had a couple of workouts with the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots. But it wasn’t until this most recent workout last month that he earned a spot on an offseason roster.
Sexton played four seasons at Eastern Michigan. He finished his college career with 100 receptions for 1,334 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. During his senior season, he caught 34 passes for 508 yards and scored four touchdowns.
The speedster also offers some kick return abilities. That was something that he did his first two seasons in school, returning 21 kicks, albeit for just 353 yards. He also returned two punts in his college career, one for 27 yards, the other a 50-yard touchdown in 2019. Sexton’s work also extends to coverage; he registered 21 career tackles and a forced fumble.