2023 Stock Watch – WR Miles Boykin – Purchased

 With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season over, the team finishing above .500 but failing to make the postseason, we have turned 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 Miles Boykin

Stock Value: Purchased

Reasoning: The Steelers announced the re-signing of wide receiver Miles Boykin yesterday after he sat unsigned for more than a month. While used primarily as a special-teams player in 2022, he rounds out the team’s wide receiver room just ahead of the draft alongside Allen Robinson II, who was recently acquired in a trade.

Outside of Steven Sims, the Steelers return the same wide receiver room, plus reinforcements, with which they exited the 2022 season. Is that a good thing? Well, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. And perhaps there’s no urgency to draft a wide receiver. But there’s always room for improvement.

Sometimes that growth needs only to come from within, however, and given the state of the offense last season, with a rookie quarterback who functioned as a backup all offseason and a quarter of the way into the regular season, it’s more than reasonable to expect as much.

George Pickens, for example, has a lot of room for growth coming off his rookie season, and building an entire offseason around second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett and his strengths and weaknesses should be a tremendous help.

But could the Steelers also get more varied contributions from the depth, like Miles Boykin? A former day-two draft pick, he didn’t see much in the way of targets last year, used primarily as a special-teams player. Perhaps there are things he could offer after being engrossed in the offense for an entire season that he didn’t a year ago.

Either way, he’s back, and he helps make Pittsburgh’s wide receiver room look something closer to complete ahead of this week’s draft. On the top of the depth chart you have Pickens, Diontae Johnson, and the recently acquired Allen Robinson II. You hope for good things from Calvin Austin III after missing his rookie year due to injury.

Beyond that bunch, you still have Gunner Olszewski, for whatever that’s worth, at the least as a candidate for return man. You’re also bringing back Anthony Miller for another shot at staying healthy. And you have Boykin, who has the look of a wide receiver, even if his career up to this point hasn’t really reflected it.

I don’t think a universe exists in which a Mike Tomlin team would completely take wide receiver off of its draft board, but the Steelers do have enough in the room right now where they should feel no compulsion to draft one unless he truly represents above-and-beyond value for where they are at the time in the draft. They’ve brought worse rooms into the regular season.

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