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: C Maurkice Pouncey
Stock Value: Even
It is still impressive that even following two serious, season-ending injuries in the three previous seasons, veteran Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was still able to make it back for the 2016 season and turn in a performance that was deemed worthy of recognition for the Pro Bowl—although it should be noted that he did not make the All-Pro team this time around.
Pouncey has certainly been on the receiving end of some bad luck when it comes to injuries over the course of his career, but he has already demonstrated the ability to come back from it. In fact, after he tore his ACL during the 2013 season opener, he had his best season in 2014.
The 2016 was not quite his best—rather, it was probably in the middle of the road for him—but it was more than worthy of the recognition that he received.
He is the nucleus of arguably the most solid interior offensive line in the entire league, partnering with two very skilled guards on either side of him.
On an individual level, there really isn’t anything more for Pouncey to accomplish that he hasn’t already. The only thing that is left is to demonstrate continued longevity.
He has already been to the Pro Bowl five times and been named to the All-Pro list four times, twice as a first-team contributor. All of that, of course, took place in the five seasons that he has been healthy for.
Another year removed from a very serious leg injury that repeatedly got infected and required several surgical follow-ups, there is certainly room for hope that Pouncey could play even better in 2017 than he did last year, but even if he maintains the level of play that he demonstrated a year ago, the Steelers should still regard themselves as in very good shape at the all-important center position.