Can Van Jefferson be the Steelers’ WR2?

    This offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense has undergone major changes. That started with the team trading QB Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles. Additionally, the team added Russell Wilson and Justin Fields to their QB room. Two talented players. 

    Pittsburgh also lost a receiver who had been a go-to target for the last five seasons. Diontae Johnson left in free agency to play for the Panthers. To re-stock their WR room, the Steelers signed WR Van Jefferson to their roster. He started 2023 with the Rams before he was traded to the Falcons last season and saw limited playing time. During OTA’s, reporters believe that Jefferson has a strong chance of being the Steelers’ WR2 this season.

    How productive will Van Jefferson be for the Steelers in 2024?

    In the 2020 NFL Draft, WR Van Jefferson was selected in the second round by the Rams out of Flordia. Jefferson played three and half seasons with the Rams. They traded him ahead of the deadline last season to the Falcons. Jefferson’s most productive professional season came in 2021 when he had 50 catches for 802 receiving yards and six touchdowns. The young WR won the Super Bowl that season with LA. Puka Nacua broke onto the scene last year and the team no longer needed Jefferson’s production.

    That’s why they traded him to the Falcons. Jefferson played in five games for Atlanta and made 14 starts. He had eight catches for 108 yards. In 2024, the Steelers are going to have a new-look WR room. The best WR they have now is George Pickens. After that, it’s a toss-up between a few players. Van Jefferson is trying to widen that gap. Several Steelers beat writers believe Jefferson is best suited to be the team’s WR2 in 2024.

    Competing with Van Jefferson for the WR2 spot this offseason are Quez Watkins, Calvin Austin III, Scotty Miller, Marquez Callaway, Denzel Mims, and rookie Roman Wilson. The most experienced of all those players is Scotty Miller. He played four seasons with the Bucs before one year with the Falcons in 2023. Miller played in all 17 games for Atlanta but made zero starts. The Steelers are going to have an open tryout through training camp to see who is fit to be their WR2. Will it be Van Jefferson or will another player win the team over?

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