With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season over, the team finishing above .500 but failing to make the postseason, we turn our attention to the offseason. One thing that it means is that some stock evaluations are going to start taking on broader contexts, reflecting on a player’s development, either positively or negatively, over the course of the season. Other evaluations will reflect only one immediate event or trend. The nature of the evaluation, whether short-term or long-term, will be noted in the reasoning section below.
Player: WR Anthony Miller
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: There is still a long way to go, but at least up to this point, things have been working in the direction of veteran Anthony Miller returning to a spot on a 53-man roster. The Steelers have yet to address the wide receiver position this offseason while allowing Steven Sims to leave in free agency; Miles Boykin remains unsigned.
It is very likely that the Steelers will add another wide receiver over the course of the next month or two who will make the 53-man roster. Maybe even somebody who will start, or at least play significantly. But in the early days of April, things are trending in Anthony Miller’s direction.
After spending most of the 2021 season on the Steelers’ practice squad, the former second-round pick was pushing to make the 53-man roster a year ago before suffering a season-ending injury in training camp.
It’s not unreasonable to think he can make another run at a roster spot later this year. After all, the Steelers are down two receivers from last year’s roster with Chase Claypool traded and Steven Sims departing in free agency. Miles Boykin also remains unsigned, though he will have to contend with Calvin Austin III returning.
Diontae Johnson and George Pickens are currently the only established receivers returning from last season’s roster, and we should be able to pencil Austin in safely. After that, there isn’t much. Do we assume Gunner Olszewski makes the team?
Boykin could still be brought back for his special-teams ability, and of course Olszewski could be back as the return man. If both happen, that will hurt Miller’s chances, factoring in Austin and a future addition. That addition could very well be an early- to mid-round draft pick who would have a virtually guaranteed path to the roster.
The reality is that Miller will turn 29 years old in October and he’s hardly played much football in two years. He’s caught 50-plus passes in a season before. He had seven touchdowns one year. He does have a proven NFL resume in terms of having the ability to be a contributor.
But will he be one of the five or six best wide receivers on the roster come September? Well, the chances of that being the case now are a little better than they might have been a month ago, but that could change quickly.