With the 2017 NFL Draft now over and the bulk of the heavy lifting done with regard to the roster building process now out of the way, it is easier to begin to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand at certain positions, and what the implications might be of a variety of moves for certain players.
And take stock is what we shall do, as every move has ramifications up and down the roster, so now we will take a look at some specific players and see how the team’s moves during the course of the offseason thus far, and more specifically since the draft, have sent their stock rising, falling, or breaking even.
Player: WR Sammie Coates
Stock Value: Down
I’m not sure there is going to be much contention with this stock evaluation, but in my estimation, the value of Sammie Coates has pretty much gone nowhere but down since about six games into his second season.
Following a remarkable five-game run in which he caught nearly 20 balls for over 400 yards and two touchdowns, including six receptions of at least 40 yards, Coates suffered a couple of broken fingers that dramatically reshaped his season, derailed his playing time, and seemingly shattered his confidence.
He had an opportunity at the time to establish himself as a starting wide receiver, but after missing his window, it doesn’t seem right now that he is going to have much of a chance at all that significant playing time this year, although he will of course have ample opportunity to improve his stock over the next several months.
During the regular season, he was given three or four opportunities to receive more playing time, and he routinely failed to capitalize on his targets—which, in fairness to him, were almost consistently very deep passes, but I’ll have more on that at a later time.
Since then, the Steelers have gotten back Martavis Bryant, they signed Justin Hunter in free agency, and for the cherry on top, they drafted JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second round at his position, adding three obstacles in his path that were not there last season.
Right now, I do not believe it would even be accurate to say that he has a roster spot reserved for him, although I do think it is more likely than not that he does end up on the 53-man roster come September.
Complicating the matter is that we do not even have full clarification on whether or not Coates had offseason surgery on his hand. While he seemed to contradict the claim that he did, Bob Labriola has repeatedly over the course of the past several months alluded to a hand surgery, and I haven’t known him to have his facts wrong very often at all.