The Steelers are steaming towards a period of painful rebuilding, but these three hidden gems on Pittsburgh’s roster can help accelerate that process.
The Pittsburgh Steelers can only go as far as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can take them in 2021. That doesn’t mean the rest of the roster is entirely devoid of talent. Mike Tomlin and his coaching staff need to spend real time developing the rest of their 53-man roster this season.
The emergence of some new stars in Pittsburgh could drastically shorten the length of time required to rebuild. Life after Big Ben is going to be painful for the Steelers, but it doesn’t mean the franchise has to launch into a decade of mediocrity.
Without delay, here are three under-the-radar players that Steelers fans should keep a close eye on this season.
3. Quincy Roche
The Steelers front office was ecstatic to grab Roche all the way down in Round 6 of this year’s NFL Draft. Many scouts thought he had Day 2 talent heading into the weekend, questions about his ability to play the defensive end position caused his draft stock to plummet.
That’s not really an issue for Pittsburgh. They’re happy to give Roche every opportunity to earn meaningful snaps as a rush outside linebacker. That’s where he played his best football during his collegiate days at Miami.
The free agent departure of Bud Dupree gives Roche a real chance to work his way onto the two-deep right away. If Alex Highsmith falters, then Roche is going to make a big impact as a rookie. At the very least, Pittsburgh needs him to find a way to play valuable backup snaps in 2021.