Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger — Rank: T-12 (One game: 12 | 2020 prod.: 13)
Running back: James Conner — Rank: 18
Pass catcher: JuJu Smith-Schuster — Rank: 23
Roethlisberger’s return saves me from writing about Duck Hodges/Mason Rudolph, so the QB already earns a W in my book. To be frank, I moved Big Ben up and down the QB rankings too many times to count. When he’s right, the 38-year-old is elite. But when he’s off — especially on downfield passes — he’s a liability. The future Hall of Famer is still far better than the Steelers’ alternatives, but I’m not sure he’s still capable of taking a solid supporting cast and making it great. Based on his ranking above, though, you can see I’m not completely counting him out just yet. If JuJu wants the Steelers’ WR1 crown, he has to deliver no matter who’s under center. You can’t celebrate the receiver’s 1,426 yards while playing with Big Ben and Antonio Brown, then ignore that Smith-Schuster managed just 552 yards with Hodges/Rudolph. Same goes for Conner, who posted 41.6 fewer scrimmage yards per game last season (71.5, down from 113.1 in 2018) while battling leg and shoulder injuries. Given what we know, the middle of the pack feels right for this group.