4 most underrated Steelers heading into the 2021 season

James Washington #13 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
James Washington #13 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington (13). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a few stars that receive a lot of attention, but these four players are still flying under the radar in 2021. 

Every year prior to the start of Steelers training camp, I comprise a list of the most underrated players on the team. Despite their efforts to better the organization, these players haven’t been at the center of attention in Pittsburgh, but deserve more credit for what they bring to the table.

I have two players returning to make this list for the second year in a row, while the rest I would consider as first-time underrated players. Though these five players aren’t the ones stealing the spotlight, their value to the team can’t be understated. Here are the five most underrated Steelers heading into the 2021 NFL season:

WR James Washington

This is a hill I’m prepared to die on. While I’m not going to pretend like James Washington is the best receiving option on this team, he’s certainly better than the attention he has received since joining the team (which is almost none).

When it comes to looks in the passing game, Washington has drawn the short straw, as Ben Roethlisberger just doesn’t look his way often. However, Washington always seems to show up in the clutch. The former second-round draft choice isn’t the biggest or fastest wide receiver on his own team, but he’s got strong hands and is incredibly gifted at reeling in the ball through traffic. Additionally, Washington was huge for Roethlisberger on 3rd downs last year, as he bailed his quarterback out of a number of questionable decisions.

Washington has the smallest social media presence of Pittsburgh’s top four receivers, and perhaps this contributes to his lack of popularity. However, don’t believe for a second that he shouldn’t be considered in the same tier as the three receivers ahead of him on the roster. Washington won’t be anything more than a role player for the Steelers, but he’s a very good one.