With the 2017 NFL Draft now over and the bulk of the heavy lifting done with regard to the roster building process now out of the way, it is easier to begin to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand at certain positions, and what the implications might be of a variety of moves for certain players.
And take stock is what we shall do, as every move has ramifications up and down the roster, so now we will take a look at some specific players and see how the team’s moves during the course of the offseason thus far, and more specifically since the draft, have sent their stock rising, falling, or breaking even.
Player: CB Coty Sensabaugh
Stock Value: Down
A year ago, Coty Sensabaugh signed a nice little contract for himself to serve as a starting cornerback for the Rams. By the end of the year, he was an injury fill-in in the slot for the Giants. Now a year on, he is on a two-year contract with the Steelers, and it’s not wholly apparent that his spot on the 53-man roster is guaranteed.
The Steelers appear to have seven cornerbacks that they would like to keep, including Sensabaugh. Artie Burns, Ross Cockrell, and rookie Cameron Sutton are locks. William Gay is likely secure, but he could be a surprise cut if everything else works out just too well.
Then we have Senquez Golson, who is a former second-round pick who has had to deal with injuries for the past two years. He would seem to be virtually guaranteed to make the roster provided that he is healthy and is able to perform.
That leaves just Brian Allen, the Steelers’ other rookie cornerback. Drafted in the fifth round, he is incredibly raw and unlikely to be able to contribute a great deal on defense this season, but he is 6’3” with decent size and speed, and that would be hard to let go of in the hopes of keeping him on the practice squad.
Even assuming that Sensabaugh makes the 53-man roster safely, of course, it’s not apparent by any means that he will have much of a role. With Burns and Cockrell starting outside, there figures to be a competition for the starting slot job, a competition for which I would currently consider him the fourth of four candidates.
He offers veteran experience and the capability of playing both outside and in the slot. And it’s quite possible that he is one of the six best cornerbacks on the team. It would be out of character for the Steelers to sign a player with over $400K guaranteed only to see him not make the roster.
The drafting of a pair of cornerbacks, however, clearly has his stock down, in my opinion, and at the very least, he will have to work just that much harder to even have a role on the defense, even as a top backup somewhere.