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3 Breakout Candidates in the 2021 Season



(Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Anthony McFarland


In a Matt Canada system, I could see Anthony McFarland possibly hitting another level. Especially with James Conner being a free agent and Benny Snell in a weird place. I could see him being a good back in this coming season. This season, he really never hit the ground running. He usually got stopped before he could get going. An improved offensive line could potentially help him and hopefully the Steelers are working on that in the offseason to hopefully help him realize his potential.


The ceiling for Anthony McFarland is high. However, not that high. I would say It would be 500 yards from scrimmage. I don’t think he’s a #1 back. I think he has the potential to be a dynamic player in the NFL. His time in Maryland with his game-breaking speed sure showed us that. I would hope we see him make a jump in his sophomore season.


Derek Watt


I hope to see Derek Watt make a jump in 2021. 2020 was just filled with disappointment and injuries. We didn’t really get what we wanted out of him. When he did play, I would say his best moments were on special teams where he excelled. However, I am hoping we see more of him on the offense.


Other than that, there’s not much to say. If we don’t see much of an improvement with Watt I wouldn’t be upset if the Steelers ended up moving on from this Watt brother. However, I am hoping it is not the case and we see him in the Burgh’ for years to come with his brother TJ.


Alex Highsmith


Highsmith had to step in for an injured Bud Dupree and did quite well. Unfortunately, Bud Dupree could end up leaving the Steelers in 2021 and Alex really showed us that the future isn’t so bleak. The Steelers have really seemed to find a diamond in the rough with Highsmith and I expect him to have a 10 sack season in his sophomore season helping out TJ Watt by getting rid of some of the double-teams for him.




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