Now that the 2021 offseason has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, 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: P Jordan Berry
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: The Steelers made the decision to used a seventh-round draft pick to select punter Pressley Harvin III, which gives incumbent Jordan Berry the most significant challenge he has ever faced just a year after he was let go for a period of several weeks as the team searched for an alternative.
It’s a really bad sign when your team drafts a player at your position just a year after they already cut you. It’s bad enough having been cut, of course, as that shows that they believe they can do without you — which is especially true of a position like punter, where you only carry one player.
So Berry couldn’t possibly have been happy to see the Steelers use a seventh-round pick to bring in Georgia Tech punter Pressley Harvin III, who is about five times his size, and can probably punt the football that much further, as well.
In fact, there may be no one player more directly negatively impacted by a single draft pick on the Steelers’ roster than Berry, as it’s now just a matter of him versus a draft pick, and he returns in 2021 on thin ice after being bailed out by Dustin Colquitt’s struggles to perform after the team signed him to replace Berry in the first place in September.
In reality, he did actually play about as well as he has played in his Steelers career after they re-signed him later on in the year once they let Colquitt go, but that is still a middling performance in comparison to league standards.
Harvin potentially gives the team a shot at a top-10 punter, or at the very least somebody who can push the ball further down the field with regularity. The Aussie was never known for having a booming leg, but that’s the 260-pound Harvin’s calling card.
With that being said, there rare no guarantees of a draft pick making the roster. It was just a few years ago, after all, that Pittsburgh drafted long snapper Colin Holba in the sixth round, only for him to lose out in a training camp battle to Kameron Canaday, who had three games of prior NFL experience before he was let go due to bad snaps. Canaday remains with the team, and will be snapping to whoever wins the punter battle this August.