Steelers stock report: Levi Wallace, Kenny Pickett and others plummet after Week 1

Player stock is falling entering Week 2, and it's not hard to figure out why.

Pittsburgh Steelers, Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers, Kenny Pickett / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Pittsburgh Steelers fans were filled with hope entering the 2023 season, but for many, the confidence they had in this team was shattered after a disgusting loss to the San Francisco 49ers. This is likely a stark overreaction. But, hey, we're football fans and we have the right to ride the rollercoaster of emotions when it comes to our team.

The 30-7 beatdown in Week 1 isn't what the Steelers are used to. Prior to this game, Mike Tomlin's record in the opening game of the season was 10-5-1, and they have come out swinging in previous years. It's obviously way too early to say that all hope is lost, but what we witnessed was far from encouraging.

Over the past few years, I have taken the liberty of comprising a Steelers stock report following my second watch-through of each game. After carefully dissecting the film Week 1, there are just a few players trending up heading into Week 2, while the vast majority of Steelers players have stock rapidly trending down at the moment.

T.J. Watt leads the Steelers with soaring stock

Somehow, T.J. Watt is flying even higher than our already high expectations for the superstar. Watt, the former Defensive Player of the Year in 2021, was outstanding against an uber-talented and well-coached 49ers team. He racked up 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 5 QB hits in the loss, per ESPN stats.

There were very few Steelers players who joined Watt on the 'stock up' list this week. However, three Pittsburgh skill players held up their end of the bargain. Anthony McFarland was outstanding on special teams -- returning 3 kicks for an impressive 91 yards. McFarland also made a big 4th-down catch on a low pass from Kenny Pickett, though he didn't get many looks on offense and never carried the ball.

Calvin Austin and Allen Robinson also join the 'stock up' list after quality performances against the 49ers. The two receivers didn't do anything overly flashy in Week 1, but they were reliable options for Pickett -- combining to catch 11 of 14 targets for exactly 100 yards.

Levi Wallace and others fell flat in Week 1

Kenny Pickett obviously wasn't good in his first game of the season (which landed him on the wrong side of the stock report). Pickett took too many sacks, made questionable decisions with the football, and was flat-out inaccurate.

As bad as Pickett was, Levi Wallace was quite arguably the worst player on the team. Wallace gave up numerous big receptions to WR Brandon Aiyuk in his coverage. In fact, advanced stats from Pro Football Reference credited him for allowing 100 percent of targets to be caught in his coverage for 14.0 yards per completion while allowing a 118.7 passer rating.

On the offensive side of the ball, the O-line was in shambles, as Dan Moore and Isaac Seumalo graded out as the two worst players on the team in Week 1. The performances of Mason Cole, James Daniels, and Chukwuma Okorafor weren't much better. The failed assignments and poor play of the offensive line led to Pickett taking 5 sacks and forced Pittsburgh to abandon the run early.

Meanwhile, players like Damontae Kazee Montravius Adams, Isaiahh Loudermilk, and Cole Holcomb didn't exactly rise to the occasion in the season-opener. They each had their share of struggles in this one. Patrick Peterson is also worth mentioning as a player with stock trending down. While he did have a few nice plays in coverage, he gave up a pair of touchdowns in his coverage (though it's worth noting that he slipped on one play and had tight coverage on the other).

This is a performance everyone on the team would love to forget. The Pittsburgh Steelers were humbled by the 49ers after their remarkable preseason. You can bet that they won't be caught napping in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns.