5 Steelers that will be starters by this time next season
By Andrew Falce
Steelers Buddy Johnson
Frankly, this is a player I think can make an impact later on the season if he plays similarly to how he did in college. Buddy Johnson is a twitchy athlete with good instincts and run-stopping ability. He lacks the necessary skills in the passing game, but those can certainly be developed. Even if he never gets much better in the passing game, Vince Williams has demonstrated the value a run-stopping linebacker can provide if paired with a good coverage linebacker.
Now, Johnson’s path to starting this year is likely only through injuries unless he makes it impossible to keep him off the field. That said, he should see some rotational snaps at the very least. With both Robert Spillane and Williams not under contract next season, he could cement a starting role if he plays well enough no matter how limited it may be in 2021.
Johnson has the capability to become a starter in this league due to all of the traits that made him effective in college. Had his coverage skills been better, he would have been a slam-dunk day two pick. The Steelers are good at using their inside linebackers in a variety of ways though, so even if his coverage skills don’t improve, he can still be an effective defender when paired with a Devin Bush that can function in coverage.