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: OLB James Harrison
Stock Value: Even
Can you really expect him to boost his value at this point in his career? At 38 years old, James Harrison was the most successful pass rusher on the Steelers’ defense last year, and it’s entirely possible that he will be the most successful pass rusher again this year at 39 years old.
Of course, we know that the end of the line is drawing near, and the Steelers are already planning for the inevitable with the drafting of T.J. Watt this year. It was never really in the cards for them to expect Harrison to log all snaps again as he was doing on occasion at the end of last season, so losing some snaps to Watt would not affect his value, since it was anticipated.
Now, if he ends up going into the regular season having lost his starting job to Watt, then that will be an entirely different discussion to have, but we are a long, long way off from that being a realistic possibility, starting with, say, actually seeing what the rookie looks like with pads on.
There’s not a lot to say about Harrison at this point in his career beyond simply marveling about the level at which he continues to play as he advances closer and closer to the age of 40, which in terms of his profession, and specifically the role within his profession, is virtually ancient.
He is not only continuing to play well, he is continuing to play at a level that compares favorably to all but the absolute best of the best at the 3-4 outside linebacker position in today’s game, and there are some supreme talents in that regard.
Among the most efficient pass rushers today, even though the sack statistic might not paint a complete picture, Harrison also remains a strong presence against the run, and even in coverage, which will no doubt surprise a few. The man is really one of a kind.