Speeding things up here on the “Ranking the Starters” series at Steelers Depot, we’re closing in on the top 10 as the start of training camp gets closer and closer by the minute.
In the last installment, I took a look at No. 15-13 for the Steelers, so today we’ll progress to No. 12-10.
No. 24 – Jordan Berry
No. 23 – Ross Cockrell
No. 22 – Eli Rogers
No. 21 – Jesse James
No. 20 – Artie Burns
No. 19 – Vince Williams
No. 18 – Bud Dupree
No. 17 – Chris Boswell
No. 16 – Ramon Foster
No. 15 – Alejandro Villanueva
No. 14 – Javon Hargrave
No. 13 – James Harrison
No. 12 — Sean Davis, S
After things didn’t work out at slot corner for the 2016 second-round pick, a move back to safety next to Mike Mitchell seemed to be just what the doctor ordered for Davis, who exploded in the second half, playing a key role down the stretch for the Steelers’ secondary.
Sure, Davis still had troubles tackling in the open field and missed numerous sacks off the edge, but he was a physical presence in the box and really added some play-making skills to the back half.
What impressed me the most was that Davis played at such a high level despite dealing with a serious shoulder injury that required surgery following the season.
If he is 100 percent healthy this fall, we could see another big step in development for Davis.
No. 11 — Martavis Bryant, WR
It’s going to be so nice to have Marty B back this fall for a Steelers offense that shouldn’t have much trouble scoring north of 28 points per game.
The reason Bryant just misses the top 10 doesn’t have to do with talent; it’s dealing more with the fact that he hasn’t seen the field in a full year, so an adjustment period early in the season could be needed for No. 10.
Make no mistake though: when he’s in the right state of mind, there are only a handful of receivers in the game more dynamic with the ball in his hands than Bryant.
No. 10 — David DeCastro, G
After signing a hefty extension with the Steelers last season, DeCastro’s play fell off a bit, namely in the penalties and missed assignments categories. I have had quite a few fans reach out to me on twitter expressing their frustrations with DD after signing the deal, but I have a hard time connecting the money he received to the drop in play.
With 66 penciled in at right guard, the Steelers should once again be able to pound the rock off the right side of the line with DeCastro and Marcus Gilbert leading the way.
While last season was a bit of a disappointment for the Pro Bowl guard, much better days await for the former first-round pick in 2017, where he should return to the elite level he played at in 2015.
No. 12 – Ladarius Green
No. 11 – Mike Mitchell
No. 10 – Markus Wheaton