Steven Sims is facing a huge opportunity with the Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a huge opening at receiver, and Steven Sims is in the best position to capitalize on this opportunity.
In what was a wise move for the future of this team, the Steelers traded receiver Chase Claypool to the Bears for a second-round pick. While the value was great for an inconsistent player who wasn’t a part of the long-term plans, it does now leave a hole for the team in the slot.
The Steelers once deep receiver room is now growing progressively thinner. While the team still has a capable pair of starters, the third and fourth options are far more in question than they were before the trade. While Miles Boykin has a similar skill set to Claypool, this seems like a wide-open opportunity for veteran receiver Steven Sims to make his mark.
The Steelers will likely use a committee
To be clear, the Steelers aren’t just going to choose a receiver and plug him into the slot and not look back. There will be different looks and a rotation of players working in the slot. In particular, whenever the team wants to get Boykin on the field, George Pickens will likely kick inside. He got some work in the slot in training camp and that could translate on the field.
That said, when you want to keep your outside receivers outside, Sims makes the most sense to run out of the slot. He is a smaller receiver that runs sharp routes and can make plays with the ball in his hands. The team hasn’t had a slot receiver like that in years.
Why the Steelers should focus on Sims over Boykin
While Boykin is certainly the more impressive receiver to look at, he isn’t what this offense needs right now. Sure, his size and speed make him a prototypical deep threat, but this offense isn’t connecting deep right now. Despite a willingness to attack deep, the efficiency of running deep routes hasn’t been there for the Steelers.
Boykin wouldn’t alleviate those problems. Quite frankly, Pickens is the better fit along the outside right now. His body control can yield big catches off of mediocre passes while Boykin wins more with his pure athleticism. The only reason I would want to see Boykin outside is that I’m curious about what Pickens can do in the slot.
Sims has a huge chance here
Important to remember is that Sims at one point was seen as a potential undrafted gem. He signed with Washington and recorded almost 400 total yards and five scores as a rookie. He showed off his sharp routes and ability to make people miss in space.
While the Steelers will claim that their offense is adjusting off the bye week, odds are it will still be the same bland showing as before. The short game will be the focus, and that is an area that Sims can thrive in. Claypool was establishing a good rapport there before he was traded.
No, Sims won’t explode and become a top threat in the league, let alone a top threat on his own team, but he is in an offense that suits his skill set. I expect some solid showings from him out of the slot as he becomes more of a fixture in this offense. He has flashed potential before, and now he finally has a chance to capitalize on it.