At one point, Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Desmond "Dez" Fitzpatrick was not just Lamar Jackson's teammate; he was arguably his favorite target.
During his redshirt freshman year with the Louisville Cardinals, Fitzpatrick earned honorable mention All-ACC honors after registering 45 receptions for 699 receiving yards and a team-leading nine touchdowns.
The following two seasons would see a slight decline in his production. Prior to the 2020 season, Fitzpatrick considered transferring to continue his career at another program. Instead, he came back and set career highs in receiving yards with 833 and yards per reception with 19.4. His performance would earn him an invitation to the 2021 Senior Bowl, where he would emerge as one of the top performers during practice week and on gameday.
His performances would attract the Tennessee Titans, who would take him in the 4th round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Despite having a desirable 6'2 frame and the ability to play both in the slot and on the outside, Fitzpatrick would spend the majority of his two seasons on the team's practice squad. The only highlight of his tenure was a touchdown reception against the Houston Texans on November 23, 2021.
Though the Steelers have built a strong culture around drafting and developing receivers, Fitzpatrick's versatility along the line of scrimmage makes him a valuable commodity and potentially the right addition for the roster. Even with the odds stacked against him, he should not be counted out by any means.