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: Marcus Allen
Stock Value: Up
Evaluation Type: Minor, Short-Term
Training camp is just around the corner, so I figured it would only make sense to update the status of rookie safety Marcus Allen, who missed basically all of OTAs and minicamp with an injury that he suffered during rookie minicamp.
The fifth-round pick figures to be given every opportunity to earn a roster spot as a fourth or fifth safety this year, but the key word here is ‘earn’, because the Steelers have a deep group of safeties that they like this year, and there’s no guarantee that the fifth safety will be favored over a sixth cornerback.
The fact that he essentially missed the spring due to injury was a blow, but he is healthy now and ready to participate in training camp, at least as far as I can tell. He was training with former Penn State teammate Saquon Barkley earlier this month, which I believe was the first we heard of him being healthy since his May injury.
Allen did get plenty of time to bond with fellow rookie draft pick Terrell Edmunds, who was his roommate during the offseason, and probably will be at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe as well. While Edmunds will be locked into a roster spot by virtue of his draft status—that is, a first-round pick—Allen will have to work.
Behind Sean Davis and Morgan Burnett, the fifth-round rookie will be working to edge out Nat Berhe, Jordan Dangerfield, and Malik Golden for a fourth or fifth spot on the depth chart, either of which could be the last spot for the safety position.
It’s worth remembering that while the Steelers drafted him in the fifth round, they said that they graded him higher than that. late-third round seems to sound familiar to me. But they also drafted two players in the third round that they graded higher than their draft position, and they did not have a selection in the fourth.