clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Let's not forget Steelers WR Justin Brown

The "Other" Brown among the receivers group, Brown spent his rookie season on the team's practice squad. An offseason of workouts with Ben Roethlisberger should prepare him well for a battle for the team's fifth WR spot.

Justin K. Aller

The Steelers' 2013 draft netted them four players who filled significant roles last season. They aren't the only ones to focus on, however. Several players from the past few drafts have been developing over the last few seasons, and this is look at those players.

Offensive Guard Nik Embernate

Steelers WR Justin Brown
Drafted sixth round, 2013

The Steelers selected the tall slot receiver out of Penn State and Oklahoma with the first of two sixth-round picks. They selected linebacker Vince Williams with the other.

Williams made the team, and due to an injury to ex-Steelers LB Larry Foote, started the bulk of the season. The difference in ability between Williams and Brown might not be considered all that much; Williams has had the opportunity while Brown, who was coming into a deeper position unit, hasn't.

Working out with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger this offseason, he may be putting the knowledge right along with the height (6-foot-3) in an effort to make this year's team.

It'll be an uphill battle for Brown, but the team's fourth and fifth wide receiver positions should be considered among the fiercest training camp battles in this year's training camp. Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton are likely the team's base offensive starters, and Lance Moore will likely handle slot duties as called upon by 11 personnel packages. The Steelers signed veteran Darrius Heyward-Bey to compete for those positions as well, and it's likely the team will add a wide receiver in the draft, possibly as early as the 15th overall pick.

Incumbent and fellow tall receiver Derrick Moye is also in the running. Moye has a leg up on Brown - he made the team last season, although he didn't get a considerable amount of playing time.

Both of those Steelers veterans will do battle for a roster spot again this year and it's possible only one - or neither - of them make the team. Brown's senior season at Oklahoma showed he has a solid set of skills, and if the year he's had to hone his skills with NFL coaching helped him improve, one would think he'd be a strong candidate to get a jersey in September.

The Steelers need depth at the position, and while Brown is still practice squad-eligible, the time he's spent this offseason should prove beneficial.