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: RB Fitzgerald Toussaint
Stock Value: Down
Even though the offseason more or less unfolded in a fairly predictable fashion as it pertains to the running back position, I think it would be fair to describe the stock value of Fitzgerald Toussaint as down. The Steelers parted with one player at his position who was on the roster last season, but they added a free agent and a third-round draft pick, so there is a net gain, and he figures to be the one who loses.
I do think it’s hard to foresee Toussaint making the roster again this season after Pittsburgh added James Conner and Knile Davis, and the latter may actually be the bigger threat to his roster hopes. Conner is obviously going to make the roster, but Davis figures to directly replace the role that Toussaint has held on special teams.
The former Chief was actually a successful kick returner in Kansas City before he was replaced with the electrifying rookie, Tyreek Hill, but he would certainly be an upgrade for the Steelers. Toussaint fielded far too many kickoffs, something I would imagine even the coaching staff recognized.
I feel I should note that when Toussaint did get some work in the regular-season finale against the Browns, he also looked rusty when it came to his assignments in pass protection, which was previously regarded as one of his strengths. Overall, he doesn’t do any one thing particularly well.
Conner is going to be the number two running back on the team in terms of getting touches on offense, and he will also play on special teams. Davis is a more veteran back than is Toussaint, and seems to be an upgrade as a return option. It’s extremely unlikely that they will have the luxury option of carrying four halfbacks on the roster this year.
So yeah, Toussaint’s stock is down, when it comes to his hopes of making the Steelers’ 53-man roster, barring an injury. But he is still an NFL-capable running back, and he should, I believe, be able to catch on with another team if he fails to make it again in Pittsburgh.