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 Josiah Coatney
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: Defensive end is one of the deepest positions on the Steelers’ roster, loaded with veterans, so the two rookie undrafted free agents that they signed are the clear low men on the totem pole, who would be near the top of the list in the team trimming the roster from 90 players to 80.
Really, this article could be written about either Calvin Taylor out of Kentucky or Josiah Coatney out of Mississippi. I went with the latter just because I find Taylor a bit more intriguing with his enormous 6’9” frame, while Coatney is heavier for the position at 325 pounds. Buggs, in comparison, is 295 pounds. Stephon Tuitt is 303. Taylor is 310, but is about 12 feet taller than everybody else.
The Steelers are already strong at defensive end. At the top of the depth chart, you have Tuitt and Cameron Heyward, who are both Pro Bowl or Pro Bowl-level performers, well-established in their roles and going nowhere. Tyson Alualu is a very experienced backup, and they recently acquired Chris Wormley, who profiles similarly.
Then you factor in Buggs entering his second year, and rookie seventh-round pick Carlos Davis, who has inside-outside versatility. That’s not even mentioning Henry Mondeaux returning from the practice squad, plus Cavon Walker and Dewayne Hendrix, who have been here since before the draft and have been through an NFL training camp before.
That is nine players that have to be taken into consideration before you get down to the likes of Josiah Coatney and Calvin Taylor, which, whether fair or not, is just the reality of the situation. Even Davis is going to have a very uphill battle trying to make the 53-man roster, which he probably won’t manage, but he will be favored for the practice squad, as would Mondeaux, with Walker and Hendrix offering intriguing challenges as well.
Sad as it is to say, the offseason is screwing guys like Coatney. But safety has to come first. They can always try to come back next year.