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: TE Xavier Grimble
Stock Value: Up
Here is another obvious one for you, but a bit of breaking news, the stock value of second-year tight end Xavier Grimble has gone up since the Steelers elected to release Ladarius Green with a failed physical—as has the value of every other tight end on the depth chart. That’s what happens with the player at the top of the totem pole is taken down.
It would probably be accurate to describe Grimble as one of the more intriguing players in recent years. He came to the team in 2014 as the Steelers’ second option as an outside free agent tight end to sign onto the practice squad, but he stuck around for that entire year and got mentions during the season for what he was doing in practice.
A year later, he was given an assist to make the roster due to multiple injuries and suspensions, but even when everybody came back, including Green, the Steelers still chose to keep him, in part, indeed, because they are intrigued as well as to what he can do if he reaches his potential.
The second-year tight end has been the subject of much discussion, having many in his corner as well as those trying to tamp down the enthusiasm, with the likelihood being that the most reasonable expectation falls somewhere in the midst of both camps.
While he might not be as athletically gifted as Green, he is certainly more so than his tested numbers would indicate, which is obvious when you watch him on the field. He has the frame and the capacity to be serviceable at worst as a blocking tight end, and has shown the ability to do that already.
He has also shown for the past two years now that he has the ability to record impressive catches, frequently doing so according to reporters and coaches in closed practices. He got a couple of touchdowns that way last year.
But he has been equally marked with inconsistency in all phases. While he may have only had one or two true drops during the year, there were others that he should have been able to come up with but didn’t. He has failed to make blocks that he should have with relative ease. If his ambitions are greater than where he already stands, then he definitely needs to become more consistent, of that I have no doubt.