Now that training camp is over with the Pittsburgh Steelers back in Pittsburgh 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: CB Arthur Maulet
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: The veteran cornerback not only played a substantial amount on defense in the Steelers’ opener, but he made plays—some critical plays, in fact. An unheralded offseason addition a year ago, Maulet is continuing to develop into a valuable niche player, mixing in with the nickel package almost as a quasi-linebacker role at times, but also capable of rolling back to safety.
Levi Wallace is the Steelers’ number three cornerback, make no mistake about that. But the Steelers are still going to find plenty of opportunities for Arthur Maulet to contribute. I’ve been saying this since they signed him, but he has a lot of similarities to Mike Hilton, who arguably priced himself out of Pittsburgh last offseason by virtue of being too good for what the team could afford at the time given the pandemic-shrunken cap situation.
Maulet isn’t going to fool anyone into thinking that they’re watching Darrelle Revis in coverage, but he can often hold his own in that department. More importantly, he is an intelligent football player first and foremost and is capable of playing in run support and blitzing.
He showed his versatility to contribute in all areas in the opener last week, with the critical play being a late sack that made sure that the Bengals stayed outside of field goal range. All three of his tackles (including the sack) went for defensive stops.
With Wallace a little bit banged up, everyone having logged a lot of snaps last week, and the Steelers with a short turnaround after this one before their next game, we can perhaps expect to see guys like Maulet getting into the action a fair bit today. Up to this point, he hasn’t looked out of place, at least.