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 Steven Sims
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: As an experienced veteran wide receiver in a corps that just lost three of its top five players, Steven Sims, as it currently stands, has a good chance to make the jump from practice squad back up to 53-man roster.
Steven Sims played in one entire game last season for the Steelers. He logged all of five snaps and was not targeted. That is the entirety of his playing experience as a member of the Steelers organization, after spending his first two years with the Washington Commanders.
A former undrafted free agent out of Kansas, Sims earned his way into a young receiving room in 2019 that was headlined by Terry McLaurin. He made the opening-day roster and played in all 16 games, catching 34 passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns. He has 61 catches to date for 575 yards and five touchdowns.
That compares favorably to most of the Steelers’ current receiving corps behind Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, the final remnants of their initial group following the free-agency departures of JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Ray-Ray McCloud.
Sims and Anthony Miller are the only other veterans on the team, both of them having been added after the preseason and signed to the practice squad. Both were elevated for a game or two, but didn’t get many opportunities after hopping on the moving train, yet both were retained on Reserve/Future contracts.
The rest of the Steelers’ current wide receiver room consists of Cody White, Rico Bussey, Tyler Vaughns, and Gunner Olszewski. White spent the remainder of the year on the 53-man roster after Smith-Schuster’s injury. Vaughns and Bussey both spent time on the practice squad as undrafted rookies.
Olszewski was signed this offseason to be the Steelers’ new return man after losing McCloud, but he did indicate that he also expects to contribute on offense. Still, Even writing him in as a lock, there remain two or three positions open. The Steelers will draft at least one wide receiver, but as it stands, at least one of Sims or Miller is probably making the team, based on what can reasonably be projected.