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: LS Colin Holba
Stock Value: Up
This may be the first time in this series that I have tracked the stock value of a rookie draft pick in May, and it’s definitely the first time that I’ve tracked the value of a long snapper, but given the unusual circumstances, it is fitting that we talk about just that when it comes to sixth-round pick Colin Holba, whose chances at a roster spot skyrocketed last week after the team released veteran Greg Warren.
The embodiment of consistency, the only deviations in Warren’s 12-year career were the two stretches that he missed after he tore his ACL. And it is seemingly the long-term effects of that knee damage that prompted him to presumably set in motion his retirement, which included his being released with a failed physical designation.
Given that Warren is no longer on the roster, it is very nearly assured that Holba is going to make the roster as long as he doesn’t completely fall on his face. Long snappers who end up getting drafted have a very good track record of making teams, considering that the majority of them enter the league as free agents.
He is currently the only long snapper on the roster, but I would imagine that that will change. They did have a different long snapper on the roster prior to the start of the draft, but they released him, and I do not expect that he will be the one who returns.
It would be surprising, however, for the Steelers not to provide him with any sort of competition for the open roster spot, and it is also the norm for most teams to have two long snappers during the offseason, at the very least in order to more effectively carry out their practices.
But one thing is clear already, and that is he will not have to unseat a highly-regarded veteran who as a rookie free agent in 2005 unseated a veteran himself who just the year before beat out a long snapper that the Steelers drafted. And that makes his path to the 53-man roster exponentially easier.