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: Sean Davis
Stock Value: Up
If you put together a very solid rookie season and then only after the fact come out with the news that you played through most of the year with a torn labrum, then it would seem to be pretty difficult to argue that your stock value shouldn’t be projected to go up.
But that is where Sean Davis is right now, telling reporters this spring that he suffered a torn labrum early in the game against the Eagles while playing in the slot, a role that he played early in the season before being moved to safety and eventually starting in the second half of the year.
The Steelers’ second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft certainly had his rookie moments, let there be no mistaking that. There were the tackling issues that he exhibited early on, for one thing, although he did manage to clean that up as the year progressed.
A couple of untimely penalties here and there, an errant blitz sprinkled into the mix. Getting turned around in coverage a time or two. As I said, there were learning moments, and that isn’t to be surprising, especially for a player who was asked to learn and play two different positions.
But he was always up for any task, and his phenomenal conditioning gave him the opportunity to draw all of those assignments. The Steelers didn’t plug him into the slot because they wanted to, but because, at the time, they felt they had to.
But he really settled down into the starting role at strong safety by the time the Steelers were making their late playoff push, and there can be no denying that the play of all three of their rookies was critical in their nine-game winning streak.
Davis, of course, was the one who won the team’s rookie of the year award, and deservingly, I think, yet he has vowed that last year will be the worst that he ever plays. He has already shown that he can play at a pretty high level. He has some edges to smooth out in his game, but that is what he is working on now. He should have a bright future.