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: RB Darrin Hall
Stock Value: Sold
It was just a day or two ago that I happened to mention former Pitt Panthers running back Darrin Hall, naming him among the then-eight players who were on the Steelers’ 90-man roster whom new quarterbacks coach Matt Canada had coached at one point at the college level.
Following the 2020 NFL Draft, however, during which the team drafted another running back Canada coached in Anthony McFarland, he was among three players released to make room for a 10-man undrafted free agent class, which did include a fullback.
With the drafting of McFarland and the release of Hall, the team’s running back room remains fixed at seven halfbacks, led by five players who finished the 2019 season on the 53-man roster. The most notable of those names are James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, and Benny Snell. By year’s end, special teamer Trey Edmunds and late signing Kerrith Whyte would also see action. Ralph Webb stuck on the practice squad and remains in the building.
An undrafted free agent last year, Hall spent time with the Bengals, Browns, and Packers before the Steelers signed him to their practice squad on All Hallow’s Eve. He would remain there for the rest of the season, along with Webb, and was signed to a futures contract on January 7, but his time as a Steeler has now come to an end.
Always a longshot to make any headway in a crowded backfield, Hall might as well have his parting now, where perhaps he could be picked by another team that was unable to address the running back position during the draft.
He did, after all, manage to sign with four different teams in 2019 from the time of the draft through the end of October, and would have a steady job from that point on until yesterday. I’m sure he will end up on another team at some point over the next few months. But there simply was no room for him in Pittsburgh.