The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: David DeCastro should have been on the NFL Top 100 Players list.
Explanation: The NFL Network concluded its Top 100 Players list yesterday, which featured three Steelers, all of them on the defensive side of the ball. Given how the offense performed last season, it’s not surprising that everybody on offense was overlooked, but David DeCastro remains a quality player.
There is no excuse for the league ignoring David DeCastro, who continued his strong play in the 2019 season. There are plenty of players who played on bad teams, or on bad units, who made the top 100 list, so to say that the Steelers’ poor offense explains why DeCastro was overlooked is not a proper explanation, excuse, or justification.
DeCastro is a perennial Pro Bowl-level player who has been recognized as such over the course of his career, and he has been on the list before. Typically, once you crack the Pro Bowl and establish yourself, your tend to be carried over year to year as long as you maintain a certain level of play, so it’s surprising that he was left out.
Only four interior offensive linemen even made the list this year, with Quenton Nelson, Zach Martin, and Brandon Brooks making it among guards, and Jason Kelce the only center among the top 100 players, as voted on by their peers.
Given the relative dearth of interior offensive linemen represented on the list, it’s a lot easier to justify DeCastro’s absence, who admittedly did not have the best season of his career in 2019, even if he did get selected for the Pro Bowl for the fifth consecutive year.
Positional value does need to be taken into consideration, so it’s no surprise that interior offensive linemen, as usual, are among the least-represented on the list. 13 of the top 100 players are quarterbacks, for example. Another 17 are wide receivers, with Michael Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins in the top 10. Brooks was the 98th-ranked player, Kelce 94.