5 hidden gems on the Steelers roster who will surprise in 2023

Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 5

Steelers hidden gem #4: Calvin Austin

I was skeptical of Calvin Austin heading into this season. He missed all of his rookie season with a foot injury, and while fans were quick to defend him, he had a lot to prove. In particular, I was skeptical that he would be much more than a gadget player and slot-specific player for a limited offense.

Then training camp and the preseason began, and Austin was more of a down-the-field threat than I anticipated. That doesn’t mean he isn’t getting work on sweeps and in the short game like I had thought; he is, but that isn’t the only thing he is providing to this team.

While George Pickens is expected to make a big leap in year two and Diontae Johnson should have a bounce-back season after failing to find the end zone a year ago, I could see Austin providing some big plays for this offense on a regular basis. He won’t be a conventional starter or even jump Allen Robinson in the pecking order, but I expect Austin to make an impact when the ball is in his hands.

Add in the potential he flashed as a return man and Austin has quickly become a player that I am excited to watch this season. He can be a threat on the ground, through the air, and as a returner. It will be quality over quantity with Austin, but he should end up being a gem for this offense by year's end.