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: S Marcus Allen
Stock Value: Down
It may have taken until the sixth round, but the Steelers did finally address the safety position this offseason with the selection of Antoine Brooks, Jr. out of Maryland. He is the first safety the team has drafted since Marcus Allen, a fifth-round pick in 2018. They also drafted Terrell Edmunds in the first round that year.
Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick are the team’s established starters, but the Steelers didn’t have much depth behind them. Yesterday, Kevin Colbert admitted they didn’t feel good about their depth at the position coming out of training camp. They would trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick, of course, but they also lost Sean Davis, who is now gone via free agency.
Even Kameron Kelly, the AAF player who emerged from nowhere, is gone. Only Allen and Jordan Dangerfield, the special teamer, remained, before the drafting of Brooks. And Allen spent most of last season on the practice squad after Kelly beat him out for a roster spot.
So that’s not a good sign for the former Penn State product. The Steelers only kept four safeties last season, and they very well could possibly do it again this year. Brooks, who has special teams experience, will have the inside track over Allen.
One of the things that has held him back has been injuries during the offseason in each of his first two years. And now in his third offseason, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so there you go. But of course that is going to hurt anybody toward the bottom of the roster, including the rookies coming in.
Still, this is the now-or-never season. He’s not under contract after this season because he had been previously released, so his rookie deal is gone. If he doesn’t take a step forward this year, he may have difficulty finding another opportunity in the NFL. And with Brooks being added to his position, his path toward a roster spot becomes more complicated.