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2022 Stock Watch – WR Steven Sims – Stock Up

Now that training camp is here with the Pittsburgh Steelers back in Latrobe and gearing up for what they hope will be a much more productive season, it’s time to take stock of where the team stands. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of training camp and the preseason and the regular season as it plays out. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning for each one. 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: The third-year veteran wide receiver did himself a lot of good in competing for the potential sixth wide receiver spot by performing well on special teams in multiple phases and contributing an explosive play offensively on a jet sweep.

The Steelers lost one potential competitor for the sixth wide receiver spot this week after learning that Anthony Miller’s injury would be more long-term, but they had some positive contributors from a trio of other candidates for the job.

I have already talked about Miles Boykin, the former Raven, who made a couple of tough catches on offense and contributed two special teams tackles. Steven Sims was also a special teams asset in multiple phases, and added to the offense, as well.

Although Gunner Olszewski is still presumably pegged as the Steelers’ return man, that is a job that Sims reminded on Saturday night that he could also handle, breaking off a 38-yard punt return. Not to be overlooked is the fact that he intelligently handled punts inside the 20-yard line, knowing when to fair catch, and when to lure the coverage away from a live ball to allow it to bounce for a touchback rather than be downed.

What’s more, he played not only as a return man but also on coverage units, and he did successfully down a punt while serving as a gunner. Although it might be difficult to find him a helmet, if they did carry six wide receivers, he could certainly be a special teams asset, and a backup return man.

Of course, he also had a 38-yard jet sweep on a direct handoff on the first drive of the second half to help ensure that rookie Kenny Pickett’s first-ever series in the NFL was a successful one. He showed return man-like abilities in open space and could potentially be an asset as a gadget player in that way.

One area in which he didn’t have much of an impact was as a pass catcher, making one catch for two yards on two targets. The other was a contested target near the goal line. He can bolster his resume with a few nice grabs over the final two preseason games.

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