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: OLB Tuzar Skipper
Stock Value: Down
According to Gerry Dulac, the Steelers are very interested in seeking quality depth, if the opportunity arises, at the outside linebacker position during the 2020 NFL Draft. The release of Anthony Chickillo earlier this offseason should have already been a clue, of course, that they may look into the position.
Without Chickillo, the only players at the position behind the starters are Olasunkanmi Adeniyi and Tuzar Skipper, the latter a 2019 college free agent who was waived before the opener after originally making the 53-man roster. He spent most of the year with the Giants before they added him back late in the season.
But it’s fair to say that going into the draft he is the low man at the totem pole among outside linebackers returning from last season, so it stands to reason that he would potentially have the most to lose should the team indeed draft an outside linebacker.
That’s not to say that they might not keep five outside linebackers, they somewhat frequently do in fact, and spent a fair amount of time last season with five (Jayrone Elliott was that fifth on and off), but it always depends upon how the roster breaks down, so there is always the risk that the fifth outside linebacker may not make the cut.
Even if he does ultimately fail to make the 53-man roster, and of course that is a long way away from now, that doesn’t mean he’s done for, either. He did get claimed off waivers last year, but that doesn’t mean there will be similar interest now in his second year. And remember, the Giants waived him and nobody claimed him. They also didn’t put up a fight when the Steelers came to sign him off their practice squad.
The Steelers are not drafting anybody tonight, but I’m sure Skipper will be watching with interest starting on Friday to see what the team does at his position. He could always beat out Adeniyi if it comes to it, as well.