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: DE Cavon Walker
Stock Value: Even
Reasoning: While Walker’s status and positioning within the pecking order hasn’t changed, Cameron Heyward recently mentioned him by name as one of the young players the team has to get up to speed to replace what has been lost.
I wanted to try to find a way to write that Walker’s stock value is up, but it’s really not. He got mentioned by name—that’s nice and all, but the defensive line is still stacked, and it’s not like Heyward’s comment was spurred on by something that he saw in Walker from OTAs, since, you know, there were none.
Walker, a former 2018 college free agent out of Maryland, was brought in earlier this offseason after finding some success in the XFL. But the Steelers also added Chris Wormley, and they drafted Carlos Davis to further add to the defensive line. They also return Henry Mondeaux, who was on the practice squad all of last season.
Perhaps, as I said, if Heyward’s decision to mention him by name was built upon something he’s actually seen firsthand, I would be more inclined to write more positively about it, but, again, it’s just a name that the rattled off. He may have just as easily have mentioned Mondeaux or Dewayne Hendrix.
The real question is whether or not Walker can show some position flexibility, since the Steelers are pretty stacked at defensive end with Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Wormley, Isaiah Buggs, and presumably Tyson Alualu, who will remain available for that role even as he is talked about as playing inside.
The Maryland product is listed at 6’2”, but only 278 pounds, which is even a little light for the end position. Both Heyward and Tuitt are around 300 pounds. I would imagine that he has been instructed to bulk up some.