5 Steelers who are already turning heads at OTAs

These five players have not gone unnoticed early at Steelers OTAs.
Steelers, Calvin Austin III
Steelers, Calvin Austin III / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are only a few days into Organized Team Activities, but already, players are turning heads... and not just the names you would expect to stand out. While Steelers OTAs are limited to just the media on hand, we have gotten insight from reputable sources who have had a first-hand look at the action as well as player quotes from media sessions and video clips posted to social media.

All eyes have been on new quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Justin Fields, as the QB competition remains arguably the biggest topic surrounding Pittsburgh. However, it's important to point out the early successes of budding players on the Steelers roster.

There is still plenty of time for others to be added to this list, but here are five Steelers players already turning heads at OTAs.

WR Calvin Austin III

In a recent media session, Russell Wilson couldn't say enough good things about Pittsburgh's young and promising wide receiver room. Interestingly, he mentioned Calvin Austin III by name twice -- praising him for 'leading the way' in wide receiver drills at the front of the line.

Austin is entering his third NFL season, but his entire rookie season was claimed due to a foot injury. One year under Matt Canada isn't a big enough sample to get a feel for what the Steelers have in the athletic slot receiver. Perhaps Arthur Smith has a bigger role in mind.

LB Payton Wilson

It didn't take long for veterans to notice Payton Wilson. The rookie linebacker already presents himself as a savvy veteran, and Patrick Queen said he's 'got that mindset' and that he's a 'really smart player'. Queen also described Wilson as 'the type of guy you want in your room.'

It's nice to hear Wilson catching on so quickly. We know that his freakish athletic traits are undeniable so that part of his game won't be an issue. For Wilson, it's about staying healthy, and early in Steelers OTAs, it looks like he's on track for a big rookie season at this rate.

CB Darius Rush

Maybe there's a reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't address the cornerback position earlier in the 2024 NFL Draft or in free agency. The coaching staff and front office like what they have in players like Darius Rush and Cory Trice Jr.

Rush has had a strong start to Steelers OTAs. Nick Farabaugh of Steelers Now reported that Rush put on a show with a pair of pass breakups and with his impressive athletic traits on full display. Many NFL Draft experts believed that Rush was a second or third-round talent entering the league in 2023. The 6'2'' cornerback will have a chance to carve out a role on defense if he keeps impressing.

WR Roman Wilson

From the very first drills of Steelers OTAs, it was easy to see the speed and explosiveness that Roman Wilson possesses, and video clips have been circling social media. Like Calvin Austin, Wilson was mentioned by name by QB Russell Wilson as a player who impressed him early in OTAs.

With George Pickens as the only bonafide receiving option on the roster, Wilson will have an opportunity to emerge as the team's WR2 during his rookie season in 2024. He appears to be catching on quickly, and fans should be excited about what he could offer the team this year.

QB Justin Fields

Justin Fields is going to be the most popular backup quarterback in the NFL (until he becomes a starter again). Early in Organized Team Activities, Bears beat writer Jason Lieser, who attended the opening day of Steelers OTAs, claiming that Pittsburgh has a better plan for Fields than what Chicago did. He also noted that Fields seems 'happy' and 'refreshed' with his new situation.

Fields has been praised early in OTAs for cleaning up some of his mechanics. It's important to remember that the former first-round pick is younger than former Steelers QB Kenny Pickett and that he just turned 25 years old in March.