The last time that we took a look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster in review, it was weeks before the 2020 NFL Draft took place. It would be safe to say that quite a bit has changed since then, and the changes apply to almost every position on the roster, some major changes, some minor.
We are closing in on the opening of the Steelers’ several weeks of training camp, this time not at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, so it would be a good time to pause and take stock of where the team stands at each position as we head into the most critical process of the offseason.
Position: Defensive End
Total Positional Figure: 10
Cameron Heyward: Heyward is certainly among those players who need no introduction. A three-time consecutive Pro Bowler, he has shown no signs of slowing down now over 30.
Stephon Tuitt: Returning from season-ending injury in 2019, Tuitt is looking to finally hit his breakout season, which he looked to be having last year prior to going down in Week Six.
Tyson Alualu: The 11th-year veteran will be expected to play nose tackle this year, but until we hear otherwise, he should remain in the mix at end as well.
Chris Wormley: Acquired via trade for fifth-round pick back in March, Wormley may be the Steelers’ primary backup end this year. He is entering the final year of his rookie deal, however.
Isaiah Buggs: Though he played little as a rookie last year, Buggs showed some promise. Of the reserves, he has the most upside as a pass rusher.
Henry Mondeaux: The former Oregon Duck spent all of last season on the practice squad—even after L.T. Walton was injured and the team just decided to go with five defensive linemen on the 53-man roster.
Dewayne Hendrix: A former Pitt player who was brought in after spending time with the XFL. He was a 2019 undrafted free agent of the Dolphins.
Cavon Walker: Technically, Walker was added prior to the draft, but after we had already covered the pre-draft position updates, so he’s being included as an addition here based on our own work. Like Hendrix, Walker came from the XFL, where he was successful. He joins a number of former Maryland Terrapins on the roster.
Calvin Taylor: A rookie undrafted free agent out of Kentucky, Taylor has enormous length at 6’9”, and is listed at 310 pounds.
Josiah Coatney: Another rookie college free agent. Coatney had size to himself at a listed 325 pounds out of Mississippi, but he is at a more traditional height for the position at 6’4”.
Players Lost: N/A
Notes and Camp Outlook:
Heyward is Heyward. Under normal circumstances, Tuitt would be Tuitt, but it will be good to get a look at him due to his injury. While we have three years of Ravens tape on Chris Wormley and he profiles as a prototypical five-tech, we also need to see him in black and gold.
This is also a big offseason for Buggs, who may either have a role or not even be on the 53-man roster. He only played last year, and sparingly at that, because of Tuitt’s injury, but Alualu playing nose tackle could leave the door ajar.
Defensive end historically also hasn’t been a bad spot to find a sleeper or two, and there are some interesting prospects on the end of the depth chart this year like Coatney and Walker.