2022 Stock Watch – WR Gunner Olszewski – 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 Gunner Olszewski

Stock Value: Up

Reasoning: At least at this point in the offseason, free agent wide receiver Gunner Olszewski is actually looking like a wide receiver, and potentially one who is going to be asked to contribute as a wide receiver in some capacity in the Steelers’ offense.

One of the most fun things about training camp is that we get to get our own eyes—more specifically, primarily the eyes of Alex Kozora—on the practice field. And we get to compare and contrast what we have heard and read about what went on during OTAs and minicamp and we can see if that matches up.

In that regard, training camp will be an interesting time for the evaluation of Gunner Olszewski, who is the only wide receiver that the Steelers signed as an unrestricted free agent this offseason (Miles Boykin was a waiver claim).

Piecing together a variety of accounts of a variety of beat writers, we can gather that Olszewski has been spending a lot of time running with the first-team units, and at least some have been impressed with his twitch and elusiveness—some things that, as a punt returner, actually should not be surprising.

The question really comes in training camp when the pads come on and whether or not he can move with the same fluidity, not just with the added weight, but also with the added knowledge that he can get crunched by a defender.

Olszewski has little experience as a receiver, having converted to the position when he got to the NFL, but four years in, he doesn’t use that as an excuse. To him, he is a wide receiver, and if he’s not playing wide receiver, it’s because the coaches don’t think highly enough of him to play it.

He only has nine catches to his name, and the Steelers used two significant draft picks on the wide receiver position, so it’s hard to really foresee him getting a ton of playing time, but given the Steelers’ history, would you really be shocked if he wasn’t at least the number two slot receiver at the start of the season—maybe even the number one?

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