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: FB Roosevelt Nix
Stock Value: Even
It was just two years ago that Roosevelt Nix was an afterthought on the Steelers’ 90-man roster. I’m not quite sure, but he may have even still been taking his reps at linebacker at the time before they moved him to the fullback position that helped him push for a roster spot.
But push he did, and he remains on the team, and even though his work at fullback is not the primary reason that he made the team initially—that would be his play on special teams, which included a blocked punt in that preseason—he is only continuing to get better as an offensive contributor, even with an injury setback last year.
I recall an article that I wrote I believe around the start of training camp last year in which running back James Saxon was talking up Nix and how he had these good hands that nobody knows about because he never gets the opportunities. I am sometimes drawn back to that article when I think about his 2016 season and how it was essentially delayed.
The former Kent State alumnus only played in 10 games last year because he was overcoming a back injury at the start of the season. He only dressed for the first preseason game as well, and if I recall correctly, he very sparsely contributed, if at all.
Even when he did initially return, it was on a very limited basis initially, and after two games he had to sit out another one coming out of the bye week. But he continued to play more, and play better, as the season wore on, and, presumably, his back felt better.
He played a big role, for example, in the record rushing day in Buffalo toward the end of the season. But as far as contributions of his own go, he was limited to just two receptions for five yards, and both of them game in the regular season finale.
Pragmatically, the loss of Ladarius Green probably makes his roster spot just a tad more secure, though he was always likelier to stick than a fourth tight end. Nix is one of the Steelers’ best and most important special teams players, especially with Vince Williams now assuming a starting role.