Now that training camp is underway, and the roster for 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 move forward.
Player: QB Devlin Hodges
Stock Value: Sold
Well, it was fun while it lasted, but as is basically always the case, the fourth quarterback failed to make the 53-man roster. The latest fourth quarterback, undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges out of Samford, put up a fight at least. He played in three preseason games and logged a lot more snaps than the likes of others in his place in the past, but ultimately, the Steelers stuck with Joshua Dobbs as their number three, entering his third season.
While his preseason numbers, particularly his completion percentage, suffered because of the performance of his supporting cast, with big drops in particular by Diontae Spencer and Brandon Reilly on third downs that stalled drives, he ultimately completed only 20 of 38 pass attempts for 190 yards, averaging five yards per attempt, with two touchdowns and one interception, plus a fumble. He was sacked three times, all in the finale, where he saw an entire half of play and struggled under pressure.
And it’s worth keeping in mind that, while he was playing with third-string weapons, he was also playing against third-string defenses, so that balances out in that regard. Even considering drops—let’s be generous and say he had five passes dropped—he still completed 20 of 33 passes that were not dropped, which is still about 60 percent. Or if you want to credit the drops as receptions and talk about accuracy, he was at about 66 percent. But every quarterback in the preseason had targets drop multiple passes as well, so we would have to equalize that for everybody.
Ultimately, Hodges was not only released, but unclaimed, and the Steelers have made no indication that they have intentions of signing him to the practice squad. Currently a free agent, the appears to be flirting with the XFL as he looks for his next chapter. Perhaps the Duck dynasty will take place there.