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: Daniel McCullers
Stock Value: Even
It’s hard really to say much about Daniel McCullers because there doesn’t really seem to be all that much to say. For the past three seasons, he has basically just been…there. Not doing a whole lot. And that includes when he has been on the field. Not that he is asked to do much, given his position, but I think it should be abundantly clear by now that the ambitions that some had for him were overly optimistic.
Many of us wondered whether or not the Steelers would draft a challenger for McCullers’ spot on the 53-man roster this year. My target—Treyvon Hester—was already gone when their turn to pick came around though, so I can’t complain too much.
They did bring back a couple of familiar training camp faces in Lavon Hooks and Roy Philon, both of whom have been in the Steelers organization before. Is it impossible for them to make the leap this year to the 53-man roster? Of course not. Is it unlikely? Certainly less likely than a draft pick coming in and making the team.
I believe the fact that the role that he is being asked to play is so minimal in today’s offense is what has helped him stick around, because the Steelers rarely use the nose tackle position much, and when they do, they will probably be using Javon Hargrave there even more than during his rookie season in 2016.
His primary function will likely be to serve in goal-line and perhaps short-yardage situations, which is fine. He will, of course, also be the backup nose tackle. And it’s not as though there has been anything overly problematic with his play when he has been on the field.
There are definitely times when he gets pushed a lot more than a player his size should, but he does also manage to produce his share of push in the pocket against the pass, and does a fair job against the run, even if their rushing numbers with him in the game oversell his own individual performance.
It seems likely by now that McCullers will finish out the final year of his rookie contract, though it’s less likely that he is re-signed the following year. At the moment, his position, and his value, remains stagnant.