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: S Robert Golden
Stock Value: Down
I was debating upon exactly in which direction the value of Robert Golden was tracking—or more accurately, whether or not it was moving. But ultimately, following the signing of Daimion Stafford and of reports that he was working some as the third safety with the first-team offense (albeit with Golden filling in for Sean Davis), I thought that it was appropriate to make the case that his stock is trending down.
After all, he began the 2016 season as a starter, but it has more or less gone downhill from there. He dealt with injury, then was rotated out for Davis, and then lost his job to Davis. Eventually, the Steelers stopped using him as the third safety toward the end of the year as well, although it remains not entirely clear way.
It’s also not entirely clear where he stands now, although I do believe that he is still far more likely than not to be in position for a spot on the 53-man roster, if for the very least because he is a key asset on special teams; he is, after all, the captain of that unit, for the past two years.
But in terms of contributing on defense? I’m not sure that we will be seeing that this year. The starters are now in place, and now it seems as though they might believe Stafford could offer them more in the sort of package that they are looking to install as a dimebacker, something Golden might not be heavy enough to execute to their specifications.
I fully reserve the right to be wrong, however, and to be proven wrong with time. It should go without saying that there is an abundance of time to allow the reserve safety positions to sort themselves out, and that Golden, as the longest-tenured player in that group on the entire roster, is going to have his opportunity to fight for playing time and whatnot.
But as I see it, based on what we currently know, I see his value as trending in a negative direction, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he reverts back to exclusively a special-teams contributor barring extreme injury issues among the top players.