The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Who of the Steelers’ recent offensive line signings stands the best chance of making the 53-man roster?
As the Steelers begin Phase One of their offseason program, they carry with them eight of the nine offensive linemen that made up their 53-man roster from a year ago. In other words, they have at least eight offensive linemen who are likely to make the team again, and they are by no means guaranteed to carry nine.
The only player not returning from last season is Chris Hubbard, who was their swing tackle, starting more than half of the season on the right side. He also played at guard, center, and as a tackle-eligible tight end, so there are some roles to be filled.
Whether those roles can be filled by B.J. Finney, Jerald Hawkins, and Matt Feiler, or if another addition is required, is the question for the offensive line this offseason. The Steelers recently added center Parker Collins, tackle Larson Graham, and tackle Joseph Cheek to their 90-man offseason roster, which currently gives them 11 linemen in total, and they are likely to add four more between now and the start of OTAs.
Alex Kozora has helpfully already broken down two of the three players named above, those being Collins and Graham, and you can read those futures reports here and here, respectively. Cheek’s will be coming either later today or tomorrow, I believe.
Larson comes out of Duquesne. An undrafted free agent last year, his sub-300-pound weight kicked him inside while he was on a 90-man roster last year despite being a three-year starter at right tackle, but he has some physicality to him. Collins out of Appalachian State can play all three interior positions but never made it out of a training camp, like Graham.
As for Cheek, he spent time with the Chiefs, Saints, and Browns last season into this season, with a bit of time on the Chiefs’ practice squad. At 6’7”, his height alone gives him a bit of intrigue, and he also has NFL bloodlines. Out of Texas A&M, he has played both inside and outside but is listed as a tackle by the Steelers.