Now that the regular season 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 have seen and are seeing over the course of the offseason and the regular season 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 reasoning. 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. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: WR Anthony Miller
Stock Value: Purchased
Reasoning: The Steelers announced the signing of former second-round wide receiver Anthony Miller to the practice squad yesterday.
While the value of the move is yet to be determined, the Steelers did purchase a new resource for the wide receiver room yesterday, signing former Chicago Bears second-round pick Anthony Miller to a contract to join the practice squad, which will likely lead to a spot on the 53-man roster in the course of time.
Drafted 51st overall in 2018 out of Memphis, Miller spent his first three seasons with the Bears, recording 139 receptions for 1,564 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was traded this offseason to the Houston Texans, playing in two games (catching five passes for 23 yards and a touchdown) before being released last week—a week ago today, in fact.
The Steelers announced the signing of the 27-year-old yesterday, coming on the same day that head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed veteran wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster would have surgery on his injured shoulder and would be placed on the Reserve/Injured List.
Given his pedigree, playing time, and positioning, many have assumed that Miller may ultimately be the slot replacement for Smith-Schuster for the remainder of this season, though that is not a guarantee. We are still waiting for Karl Joseph to be signed to the 53-man roster, for example.
For now, the Steelers’ top three wide receivers are Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and James Washington, though none of them specialize in playing out of the slot. Ray-Ray McCloud and Cody White are also members of the 53-man roster at the wide receiver position.
Miller has logged over 1,900 offensive snaps over the course of his three-plus seasons, though he has never reached 700 snaps in any one year. He led the Bears in receiving touchdowns with seven during his rookie season, and was second the Allen Robinson in receiving yards a year later.