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: Interior OL
Total Positional Figure: 10
David DeCastro: Pretty much the unquestioned best lineman for the Steelers at this point. His play was overlooked last year due to the poor play of the offense.
Maurkice Pouncey: Pouncey is coming off a shaky year in which he really had the yips on his snaps, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as some parties, such as Pro Football Focus, portrayed. He’s not about to fall off the cliff.
Matt Feiler: The only other lineman on the roster who started a game inside for the Steelers last season, Feiler has two starts at guard and could start 16 this year. While most of his regular season work has been outside, he has had more work inside in the offseason over the course of his career.
Stefen Wisniewski: A free agent signing brought in to potentially start at left guard, Wisniewski has over 100 starts under his belt and would be a strong fallback option, but either way he is pretty much a lock to be the number two center even if he has to start at left guard.
J.C. Hassenauer: A former AAF player, he was signed last offseason, didn’t even make the practice squad, but finished the season dressing as the backup center to B.J. Finney in the finale. That was after Patrick Morris was claimed off waivers and Pouncey was hurt.
Derwin Gray: Despite being a college tackle, Gray only played guard in the offseason for the Steelers. He wasn’t fully healthy last year following a college injury he was playing through, and will be looking to show his talents.
Christian DiLauro: Like Gray, DiLauro is tackle-guard capable. He was also on the practice squad by the end of the year.
John Keenoy: Coming over from the XFL as a center prospect, he was a college teammate of Chukwuma Okorafor. Not a great athlete, but that’s usually the case when we’re this far down the list.
Christian Montano: Montano has the size you would like for an interior prospect, a rookie undrafted free agent. He figures to compete with Hassenauer and Keenoy for practice squad real estate. It wouldn’t be surprising of more than one of them make it if the practice squad is expanded to 20.
Kevin Dotson: A rookie fourth-round pick, Dotson has a great personality, both on and off the field. Considered something of a road-grader, he has future starting potential, but probably not this year.
Players Lost: N/A
Notes and Camp Outlook:
While there is ostensibly a competition for the starting job between Feiler and Wisniewski, this is directly affected by what Okorafor and Zach Banner do at right tackle. If they fail, Feiler will have to start at right tackle, leaving Wisniewski at left guard.
Depth is a big deal. They need to find something in guys like Dotson, Gray, and Hassenauer. Dotson is a lock, but it would be great to find a keeper out of at least one of those two. Plus, a guy like Montano could surprise if given the chance. They found Fred Johnson last year…then lost him.