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

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Steelers hidden gem #5: Connor Heyward

Connor Heyward has already exceeded any expectations that I had for him when he was drafted. I struggled to see what his value would be outside of a special teams player, and ultimately I expected him to just be a fullback for this team.

I was shocked to see him stick with the tight ends last year, and while he remains there this year, he figures to be used elsewhere on offense. With no true fullback on the roster, I expect Heyward to line up there when needed. He may also see some snaps in the slot and even as a running back in the backfield. Oh, and don’t forget, he will also be a core special teams player and see snaps as a traditional tight end.

The offseason proved that the Steelers want to use Heyward all over the field. He was a regular contributor in the preseason, and I expect that to continue heading into the season. No, he won’t post gaudy numbers every week, but I expect his contributions to continue to stack during the entire season.

I wouldn’t be shocked to see Heyward post a couple hundred yards through the air as well as a hundred-plus yards on the ground. Add in the special teams' value he will continue to provide and a big season seems in store. Heyward has been a delightful surprise, and I expect his versatility to make him a gem for this offense.

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The Steelers should be a fun team to watch this season. While there are quite a few projected stars, don’t sleep on these potential gems as well. All five of these players could end up surprising everyone with their good play.