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 Henry Mondeaux
Stock Value: Down
Here’s a guy that we haven’t talked about in a good long while—in fact, all offseason, really. Not that that should be a great shock, given that he is a player who has never set foot on a 53-man roster before. You do have to wonder, however, if he was close last season.
He was originally signed by the Steelers after earning a spot through rookie minicamp last year, as a first-year player, and I’m going to use this opportunity once again to make a detour. The lack of a rookie minicamp has screwed up the tryout players this year, and that’s hundreds of players around the league.
Henry Mondeaux was one of four players who were signed to the 90-man roster in place of four other players who were released. Two of the other four were Tuzar Skipper and Devlin Hodges, so yes, these players matter.
Anyway, long story short, Mondeaux showed in in training camp and he got the job done reasonably well in the preseason as well. That was good enough to earn himself a spot on the practice squad, yet despite multiple windows, he never got the call up.
His first chance to be promoted came after the Week Six game in which Stephon Tuitt was injured and lost for the remainder of the season. Rather than promote somebody with no NFL experience to play, they re-signed L.T. Walton and gave rookie Isaiah Buggs some snaps.
Later, Walton was injured and lost for the season. Instead of promoting Mondeaux this time, they…just went the rest of the year with five defensive linemen. Something I’ve never seen them do before.
Now they have seven defensive linemen—at least. And that’s not including Mondeaux. While Javon Hargrave is gone, Tuitt is back, and the Steelers traded for Chris Wormley and drafted Carlos Davis. This is bad for the Oregon product. Because, most likely, somebody like Davis or Buggs is going to end up on the practice squad. The squad is expanded this year to 12 spots, but we’ll see if that is enough to get them to keep eight linemen (which is not impossible by any means and has been done before).