4 Steelers players that could surprisingly have big roles in 2021

Antoine Brooks Jr. #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Antoine Brooks Jr. #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Marcus Allen #27 of the Pittsburgh Steelers takes the field. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

Marcus Allen

Marcus Allen is a former fifth-round selection from the 2018 NFL Draft class. He started in his career slowly working his way up through the practice squad and onto special teams. Finally, in 2020 he started contributing to the starting defense. Allen was drafted as a safety coming out of Penn State but over time the Steelers have envisioned him as more of an inside linebacker or safety/linebacker hybrid. This is a hard-hitting and physical player that showed his toughness last season. He helped step up and fill in when injuries decimated that inside linebacker group. He provided amazing depth and showed the coaching staff what he can do when his number gets called.

The safety position has little to no depth and the inside linebacker spot has become more saturated since the beginning of last season but Allen is different. His speed and physicality in the middle create mismatches against opposing offenses where he can cover with speed and help fill in the run game. He played fairly well during his time starting on this defense in 2020 so coaches will find ways to bring him on the field to contribute in 2021 as well. This is another player where the Steelers have to kind and figure out exactly what they have and what they want to do with moving forward. He has all the skills to be an effective piece on this defense and this team seems to want to find ways of getting him on the field.

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The Steelers will rely on many names that most fans have not really heard of in recent seasons. These players will need to make a name for themselves instantly for this team to be successful in 2021.