Now that the 2019 NFL Draft is underway, 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: S Jordan Dangerfield
Stock Value: Even
According to Jacob Klinger, Jordan Dangerfield, the Steelers’ veteran backup safety, was among the players who got some work with the first-team defense earlier in OTAs when starting free safety Sean Davis was missing time due to a minor injury.
Why isn’t this more significant? Because the same thing happened last year. It’s really more a product of him being the most experienced safety on the roster. By measurement of longevity of history with the organization, Dangerfield is actually the longest-tenured at the position—in fact, in the secondary—on the Steelers, even though he has only two accrued seasons.
Relatively speaking, he has become an old reliable for the team, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that that is going to earn him any kind of meaningful playing time in the season. Personally, I’m not sure why he wouldn’t be in the mix to compete for the dimebacker job if Marcus Allen is fighting for it as well, but we’ll have to see if he actually gets a chance to do that.
For the moment, he appears to be more like an Anthony Madison than anybody else. If you recall Madison, he was a bottom of the roster cornerback who was a staple on special teams but would only see the defense if there were some type of emergency.
Last year, the Steelers did give Dangerfield a handful of snaps in a heavy 3-4 look, replacing one cornerback with a third safety season three-tight end looks, but that is a sparse package, and it may end up going to Allen, or Mark Barron, this year, if they use it at all. They used it more because of the instability at the right cornerback position than because they just wanted to get a third safety out there.
That said, he is a player the Steelers have trusted to start before. He made two starts in 2016, his first accrued season in the NFL, when Robert Golden was injured, and he seemed to hold his own. Can he realistically climb the ladder at this point in his career, his seventh training camp (and sixth with Pittsburgh)?