Exactly what the title says.
Not so much talking about personal story because Velasco would win that outright. In a players Journey as it pertains to on the field. Emergence of leadership, quality/consistency of play, Developement and that player's meaning to the team.
Kelvin Beachum- For me, this year has been the emergence of Kelvin Beachum as our starting LT. He has played every position on the line including TE (without catching a pass of course), and as he has done before in his life, he has achieved and some would say over achieved. So much so, that many people that were touting for LT picks in the draft are more comfortable looking at addressing other areas of the team that has struggled or will likely struggle without quality picks. Yes, some of us fans would like to see a premier LT be picked up, and the reality of a top ten pick is pretty much vanished which negates that happening anyway, but he has made a strong case for himself.
I would contend that we don't need a "prototypical" LT as long as Beachum provides us not just the opportunity to win but maybe even a slight edge to win. Terrel Suggs and Elvis Dumerville were rendered next to useless in the pass rush against Beachum as well as the other three teams' DEs/OLBs that played the Steelers in the third quarter of the season. This undersized LT, yes I am labelling him a LT, has had possibly one or two bad games since taking over. Most sacks that occured since he took over haven't come from his side he has displayed that even when he is beat at the line he still maintains his block by positioning himself between the Defender and the QB to provide time for Ben. His mentality is what I like and it shouldn't be scrapped as just a 6th man. Another thing of notice is Ben is way more comfortable since Beachum has taken over.
Fernando Velasco-To make a case I flip flopped a little bit between Velasco and Beachum. Velasco I would have deemed as the savior but we didn't start winning games till Beachum took over LT. Velasco has had a great story but has proven himself to be starter caliber before he got here, which was noted in multiple press conferences and he was claimed to be more of a cap casualty of some sort (i am running off of memory don't judge me if I got that wrong). He may not have been great or even as good as Pouncey, although there are times I ask myself how much better Pouncey would do, but he to me he solidified this Offensive line and for all we know he may be a behind-the-scenes reason for success on this line. I say that because the Steelers have rarely brought in significant talent from other teams that have experience on other lines.
Antonio Brown- the season he is having has been atrociously good. In crunch time in games I find myself calling for the Steelers to get Brown the ball when i used to call for Heath. The only reason he isn't my top pick is he has had a year similar to this before and it was somewhat expected just not to this level.
Cameron Heyward- Well this is pretty obvious for being his breakout year. He has played lights out for the second half of the season and was showing solid play since his limited snaps last year. He was a first round pick so I think it goes without saying that it was more a relief that he's working out rather than a shock.
Jason Worilds- Again he was an early round pick years ago and just hasn't had the time to and opportunity to live up to his draft placement until spot starting last year and this year. He had some adversity early this season with a good competition between him and Jones but he has shown why he is now the starter and people are talking about letting Woodley's days being numbered. This may be some people's choices as player story, but I was more shocked by Jason Worild's rocky start rather than his success this season. Still good things have happened this year as a result of his play.
Jarvis Jones/Shamarko Thomas- This may not be a popular pick but I group these two together because they very significant rookie contributers on a defense that doesn't experience that often. Jarvis Jones is still solid and is developing, but looks like he will need a solid offseason to become a relevant force. Shamarko Thomas was slightly different. I didn't realize how valuable he had been for the team until he wasn't activated due to injury. I actually felt like this team would struggle a little bit with out his contributions. He can play almost as physical as Troy, plays effectively in both man and zone coverage, and the whole ordeal with Tomlin on the kickoff may not happen with the Shark's Special teams contributions. I like these two and look forward to seeing more.
Le'Veon bell- This last game against the Ravens forced me to put him in this. Up to that point he had contributed without much flashiness and was limited to the folly's of our Oline's runblocking ability. He changed that whole perception this past game and when he went down, I got up. Same way I felt with Shamarko, I didn't realize what the Steelers had till he was taken out. My reaction was first for the man himself and my prayers went to him immediately but later I realized how much he has been a part of this offense this season. The man deserves everyone's respect.
This really concludes my thoughts on players' stories and would love to hear BTSC's answers and explanations on the matter.