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: K Nick Sciba
Stock Value: Purchased
Reasoning: Among the four players that the Steelers officially signed yesterday as rookie minicamp tryouts was Wake Forest kicker Nick Sciba, who has the second-highest field goal percentage in NCAA history at 89.9, behind Brett Baer’s 90.0.
Chris Boswell isn’t the type of person to sweat things that are out of his control, yet with that being said, it is the case that he is entering the final year of his contract. The Steelers just signed the second-most accurate kicker in college football history in Nick Sciba. Could we actually have a kicking competition?
I wouldn’t bet on it. If anything, he could possibly earn a spot on the practice squad, or at least in their rolodex, to revisit the situation next year in the case that they don’t work out a long-term contract extension for Boswell.
The fact of the matter is that Sciba did go undrafted. One would think that if his 89.9-percent accuracy were really so impressive, some team would have found a way to use a draft pick on him, or at least sign him as a college free agent.
Instead, he only got a rookie minicamp tryout invitation. He evidently made the most of it, considering the fact that he earned a contract to the 90-man roster, but you have to ask the question of why he was so easily available. Being small doesn’t help.
As for Boswell, he has made at least 90 percent of his field goals in three of the past four seasons, and in five of his seven total seasons. His awful 65 percent in 2018 stands as a shocking outlier in his career, with his only other total below 90 being 84 percent.
He actually broke his own records last year for the most attempts and makes in a season in team history, and he’s ‘only’ 31, which, for a kicker, is still plenty young, where top-end kickers can play into their 40s. On top of that, he showed the best range of his career in 2021, going 8-of-9 from 50-plus.