Now that the 2020 offseason has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, 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 season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
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: DL Daniel McCullers
Stock Value: Even
With the Steelers scheduled to draft two players today, this should be the last installment hopefully for a while during which we might not have a lot of substance to go on. The team figures to add six draft picks and eight undrafted free agents, at least, with the possibility of signing more to displace other players on the roster.
Just in anticipation of what might happen today, or early tomorrow, however, I am going to discuss one more hypothetical, with Daniel McCullers. The outcome of this draft could have a big impact on the seventh-year player’s future.
Even though he is technically the only true defensive tackle on the roster, that doesn’t guarantee he is going to make the team. Chances are good, I think, that the Steelers will draft a nose tackle by the time they exit the fourth round (they have four selections through the next three rounds).
That still only leaves two defensive tackles. But what are the odds that one of Tyson Alualu, Isaiah Buggs, or Chris Wormley is asked to begin the process of moving inside? The nose tackle is such a specialized position today that it’s not reasonable.
Remember, it wasn’t so long ago that L.T. Walton was the Steelers’ backup nose tackle to Javon Hargrave. Walton also came in as a defensive tackle, and isn’t so dissimilar in body type to the aforementioned players.
If one of them needs to make that transition, or at least add that to their repertoire for flexibility, in order to make the roster, then they’re going to do it, and that is going to put McCullers and his $1.5 million cap hit right in the crosshairs, at risk of losing his spot on the 53-man roster after all these years.