3 bold predictions ahead of the start of Steelers 2024 training camp

Here are some bold predections of what could be in store for the Steelers in the 2024 season
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

It's that time of year once again. The Steelers prepare to head to training camp later this month at St. Vincent College. We will see who makes the final cut for the 53-man roster and who gets sent hopping down Highway 30. We will get our first look at the Steelers' rookies over the first three preseason games, hoping some show flashes of greatness.

This season's training camp promises to be more exciting than previous ones. We have two promising new quarterbacks, a running back looking to secure a new contract, an overhauled offensive line, and some impressive defensive rookies. Although we won't have a clear picture of who rises to the top until the end of August, fans have plenty to look forward to in the preseason.

While we may not have a crystal ball to gaze into for answers to how the 2024 season plays out, that does not stop sports writers from making their own predictions. Thus, here are three predictions of what fans could expect from the Steelers in the coming 2024 NFL season.

3 bold predictions ahead of the start of Steelers 2024 training camp

1. Russell Wilson breaks out

While seemingly, many have already written Russell Wilson's NFL obituary before playing one game this year; he has a huge opportunity to prove all the naysayers wrong. Perhaps he won't, but it would undoubtedly be Wilson if anyone can. It's doubtful you will see Wilson pass for 4000 yards or 40 touchdown passes, as he has in previous seasons. However, the beautiful thing is he does not need to.

The Steelers can and will do surprisingly well if he can pass for 3000-3500 yards and at least 20-25 touchdowns. That would eclipse anything Kenny Pickett did in his two seasons or what Justin Fields did in Chicago. Production even remotely close allows the Steelers to challenge for the AFC North crown.

Look for Wilson to pass for 3000 yards and pass for 25 touchdowns this season. With his efforts, the Steelers will win the AFC North, and the Steelers will win their first playoff game since the 2016 season, and their first playoff win post-Ben Roethlisberger.

2. Najee Harris tops 1,200 yards

There are many questions about whether Najee Harris will return to the Steelers in 2025. However, even if he does not, he plays for a new contract. His performance in 2024 will determine how that process goes. The upside is that even if he does not return, the Steelers will benefit from the fruits of his labor. We also know Arthur Smith likes to run the ball, and the Steelers have invested heavily in improving their offensive line to make that happen.

Assuming the Steelers' offensive line improves as we all hope it does, Najee Harris could have his best production since his rookie campaign. Success like that could put him near 1200 rushing yards and perhaps close to 4.5 yards per carry. He could also add another 40-50 receptions on top of that. Even if he falls short of that, an improved offensive line could allow Jaylen Warren to make up any shortages. Considering Warren is averaging 6.8 yards per carry, he could also have a breakout season.

With help from the improved offensive line, the Steelers' running game could become a game-changer. It might even pose a formidable challenge to many opponents. A successful running game would prevent Wilson from facing third-and-long situations, improving his performance, which the Steelers aim for. This could make Wilson's performance even more impressive.

3. T.J. Watt makes history

T. J. Watt may have fallen short of breaking the single-season sack record, which he tied in 2022, but he still proved he is a one-man wrecking crew on defense and shows no signs of slowing down. Plus, he narrowly got edged out as Defensive Player of the Year, which he should have won for the second time, meaning he still has unfinished business in 2024.

The 2024 season could be the crown jewel in his career. He is hungry; he wants a playoff win and a championship. Steelers management has done quite a bit to make that happen in the off-season. In conjunction, Nick Herbig, who had an impressive rookie season, could help T.J. Watt even more devastating if he makes his second-year leap. Don't forget what the addition of Patrick Queen does to help out Watt.

On top of that, with improved play from Joey Porter Jr, an improved secondary gives Watt that much more time to get a coverage sack. It would be fair to assume that if Watt ever breaks the single-season sack record, it could be 2024. This season is likely his best chance to do so.

If, for any reason, that fails to occur, as long as he gets 19, he would be the first official player to do that in three straight seasons. However, Mark Gastineau and Deacon Jones accomplished the feat before sacks became an official statistic. Nevertheless, it puts J.J. Watt in a rarified air, along with some other NFL legends. Sacks aside, he will have an interception, a few forced fumbles, and probably a fumble recovery. If he didn't win the Defensive Player of the Year in 2023, he should win it in 2024

While we must wait to see how the season plays out, either of these predictions stands a chance of occurring. If not, other things could. Perhaps Justin Fields becomes the hero, George Pickens has a career season, or Roman Wilson becomes a rookie sensation. The 2024 season is brimming with potential, and the Steelers have added a wealth of talent. Numerous players have the potential to rise to the top and lead the Steelers to a successful playoff run.