Matt Williamson is co-host of "SNR Drive" on Steelers Nation Radio. His opinionsdo not reflect the views of the Steelers organization.
All eyes will be on the Steelers quarterbacks in training camp, but there are a few other storylines that I'll be watching once Steelers training camp opens.
Slot Receiver: JuJu Smith-Schuster is now in Kansas City and there isn't an obvious replacement for him out of the slot, but there are plenty of candidates. Diontae Johnson can align all over. George Pickens best profiles as a traditional X Receiver but brings a lot of versatility to the fold. Chase Claypool could really take his career up another level if he can succeed out of the slot, particularly as a blocker. Teams around the NFL are now looking for more big power slots rather than the traditional Wes Welker/Julian Edelman-type smaller, quicker player. Claypool's physicality and size presents a real problem for opposing slot cornerbacks. Two other receivers to watch here are Anthony Miller and Calvin Austin. Austin is built like a traditional slot receiver, yet he thrived on the outside in college, while Miller has done much of his work at the NFL level operating on the inside. It will be very interesting how this works out and the Steelers will surely utilize more than one player here.
Third Offensive Tackle: To me, Dan Moore and Chukwuma Okorafor appear to be entrenched as the starting left and right tackle, respectively. Moore is 23 years old and Okorafor is only 24. Their best football should be ahead of them, but having a backup plan at tackle is important for all teams in the NFL. Joe Haeg is a valuable player that can help all over the offensive line. Chaz Green and Trent Scott could step up and show their worth. The position is critical for all teams, so in addition to all of these options, the Steelers might be wise to keep an eye on available veterans from outside the organization. You can never have enough options at this spot, in my opinion.
Third Edge Defender: Call this position "Outside Linebacker" if you want in the traditional 3-4 defensive scheme. But the reality of the situation is that Pittsburgh and every other team operate with five and six defensive backs on the field a very high percentage of the time and usually with a four-man defensive line. TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith have the edge positions locked down. But who is also in the mix? Derrick Tuszka returns from last year and should be in the conversation. DeMarvin Leal has the versatility to potentially stand up on the edge, a new wrinkle for this defense because of his size. To me, Genard Avery was a really interesting signing for this defense because he can play on the edge and as a true off-the-ball linebacker.