4 Steelers that the team must build around for 2021 success
By Andrew Falce
Here are four players that the Steelers need to build around for success in 2021
The Steelers saw quite a few solid additions from youthful players in 2020, and with a lot of question marks surrounding this team and its future, planning heavily around these players is a must. The team benefits from their smaller contracts and potential longevity as players given their limited wear and tear. With a large amount of talent set to leave, building this team around these players will allow for the best possible rebuild. Here are the players that the Steelers will have to build around to be successful in 2021.
The Steelers have had a rough go at it with undrafted free agents as of late. While the team usually brings in around 10 undrafted options, it has become increasingly rare that any of them make the roster. This past season, the odds were even longer, as rookies didn’t have a preseason to show off their skills. Yet, James Pierre somehow found his way onto the roster besides these limitations.
He made an instant impact on special teams and by years end he had seemingly jumped Justin Layne as the backup outside corner. While his defensive snaps were extremely limited, he seemed to hold his own as a coverage player. Given the short- and long-term uncertainty at the outside corner spot, Pierre has to be considered as a potential starter, and ideally sooner than later.
While being hyped over 27 defensive snaps seems premature, the fact he made the roster and overtook Layne means the Steelers clearly see something in him. Given the fact that the team will have some old faces gone at the corner position, it isn’t impossible that Pierre sees considerable playing time as a rotational outside option. Even if starting isn’t in the cards, he has played well as a special teamer. There is always value there, but he has untapped potential as a potential starter sooner than later.