Now that the 2018 NFL Draft is in the books, and the roster heading into the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we head toward training camp.
Player: Coty Sensabaugh
Stock Value: Down
Evaluation Type: Moderate, Long-Term
Reason: Quality of Reps, Positional Depth
Nothing has really changed this offseason for Coty Sensabaugh, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Chances are, he is on the outside looking in right now in terms of the likelihood of him seeing the second of that two-year contract he signed with the Steelers last year.
Pittsburgh brought him in as veteran depth in 2017, but toward the end of training camp he actually ended up competing with Ross Cockrell for the starting left outside cornerback position. The signing of Joe Haden crashed that party.
Sensabaugh did get a chance to start a few games while Haden was out with a fractured fibula, but he struggled in that role, giving up long touchdowns. After a first half against the Bengals in which he was beaten twice by A.J. Green, the coaching staff replaced him with rookie Cameron Sutton, who was recently activated from injured reserve.
It was pretty much all downhill from that point on. Sutton ended up starting against the Patriots before Haden returned, and then the rookie and Brian Allen ate into his snaps on special teams, so that Sensabaugh wound up being a healthy scratch.
The Steelers did part with veteran cornerback William Gay, but they also significantly bolstered their safety roster and figure to be very likely to carry five at that position, which makes it less likely that they carry six cornerbacks. That may depend upon their level of comfort in Allen playing if he needed to.
We haven’t really heard much about the seventh-year player this offseason, but we know that Sutton is the next man up at this point. They’re already looking for ways to get him on the field, so they definitely don’t have a role for Sensabaugh, who would only be depth, and probably a healthy scratch if he were to be kept as a sixth cornerback. In other words, nothing has really changed.