2022 Stock Watch – WR Anthony Miller – Stock Up

Now that the 2021 season is over, bringing yet another year of disappointment, a fifth 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 season and into 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 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: Up

Reasoning: With the departure of three of the Steelers’ top five wide receivers and the team’s addition of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, with whom he played in Chicago, veteran wide receiver Anthony Miller stands a legitimate chance of making the 53-man roster in 2022.

Pedigree doesn’t buy you talent, but it can help buy you a second and third chance. Anthony Miller is one of those players. A 2018 second-round draft pick, he’s now on his third team, and spent most of the 2021 season on the Steelers’ practice squad.

With JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Ray-Ray McCloud all leaving in free agency, however, the Steelers are left with just Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool at the top of their depth chart for now. Cody White is also there, but he wouldn’t be guaranteed any kind of roster spot.

Miller spent his first three seasons in the league the Bears, where he played with Trubisky. There, he caught 134 passes for 1,564 yards with 11 touchdowns. His best season was his rookie year where he caught 33 passes for 423 yards and seven scores.

Chicago traded Miller to the Houston Texans in late July 2021 at the start of training camp, sending him and a seventh-round pick in exchange for a pick in the fifth. He only dressed for two games, however, before he was waived, catching five passes with one score.

The Steelers signed him to their practice squad after Smith-Schuster was injured, and he would spend the rest of the year there, minus one game for which he was called up. He caught one pass for all of two yards, though it was a difficult grab. Obviously, a miniscule, virtually meaningless sample size.

But now he is in a very thin wide receiver room and his former quarterback is likely to be the team’s starter in 2022. Things couldn’t have gone much better for Miller this offseason when it comes to having the opportunity to establish himself as a contributor once again.

He has the makings of a decent slot receiver, though he can work inside and outside. He has some ability to generate separation and get open, but his hands, while not deficient, could be a bit better as well. Ideally, you look for another starting slot option, of course, but he could realistically be a meaningful contributor to the Steelers’ offense in 2022 in a proactive fashion.

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