5 Steelers we can safely call busts after the 2023 season

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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Steelers bust #3: Calvin Austin

Everyone had high hopes for Calvin Austin entering this season. The former Memphis product was an early darling from fans in his first training camp. His speed was on display, and that was something this offense had been lacking for a while. He didn’t see the field as a rookie though as injuries kept him off the field.

He settled into the fourth receiver role for the offense early last offseason. The plan seemed to be to mix him into both the slot and outside receiver mix as well as have him field punts. The special team's work was fine, but nothing exceptional. His impact on the offense was minimal despite him having some opportunities with Diontae Johnson missing some extended time.

The issue with Austin isn’t as much his problem. He was a cut-and-dry player coming out of school. Extremely small, but extremely fast. Pittsburgh prefers their outside receivers to have more weight on them, and the Steelers have famously used their small slot receivers as nothing more than gadget players. Austin would benefit from a more vertical offense, but the team doesn’t have a good plan for him there.

I don’t think an Arthur Smith offense is going to help him. This scheme is seemingly shifting to more multi-tight end sets, meaning playing time will be harder to come by. That could be the nail in his coffin, and a few additions to the receiver room could see him buried on the depth chart. His best bet is to earn his keep as a returner, but even then, it might not be enough to keep him from being a bust.