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: Malik Golden
Stock Value: Down
Evaluation Type: Moderate, Long-Term
Reason: Depth, Quality of Reps
Malik Golden was probably pretty happy early in the offseason, at least after the Steelers signed him to a Reserve/Future contract. Just before the start of free agency, the team released two players at his position, those being Mike Mitchell and Robert Golden.
The latter would seem to be particularly relevant to Golden, and not just because they have the same last name, but because the veteran Golden played a relatively similar position than the first-year player would hope to be able to secure for himself.
Robert was never a full-time starter, at least beyond half a season, but he made himself valuable to the team in other ways, particularly on special teams. When the Steelers decided to move on, it seemed like a window was opening.
Then Pittsburgh replaced those two players with Morgan Burnett (a starter) and Nat Berhe (a special teamer). And the window suddenly seemed to be closing again.
Then the 2018 NFL Draft rolled around and the Steelers came out of it not with just one safety, but in fact two, including Terrell Edmunds, their first-round draft pick. The other safety just so happened to be his teammate at Penn State, Marcus Allen, selected in the fifth round.
The team added four safeties in the offseason while retaining Sean Davis from last year, as well as Jordan Dangerfield, who was on the 53 in 2016 and on the practice squad last year after he suffered a late preseason injury that prompted the team to trade for J.J. Wilcox.
That is perhaps six safeties who figure to have better odds of making the 53-man roster than he does. Just based on the sheer numbers that he has to face, the personnel decisions this offseason did him no favors. The team still seems to like him, but he has a real uphill battle.