Now that the 2020 regular season 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 are seeing over the course of the season as it plays out. Who is making plays? Who is missing them? Who is losing snaps? Who is struggling to stay on the field?
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. 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 season as we move forward.
Player: DL Carlos Davis
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: While it was considered something of an achievement simply for him to make the 53-man roster, rookie seventh-round pick Carlos Davis dressed for the first time in his career on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys and represented himself well, recording two tackles, one for a loss.
The odds were seemingly stacked against Carlos Davis to be able to make the 53-man roster this season. After having acquired Chris Wormley via trade, and still evidently willing to continue plowing ahead with Daniel McCullers as, at worst, the number two nose tackle, he certainly appeared to be on the outside looking in on the depth chart.
That was immensely complicated by the fact that there were no offseason workouts of any kind in the Spring. Even when they arrived at training camp, the entire proceeding was somewhat abridged, and even more troublesome, there was no preseason, the vehicle through which fringe players like Davis typically earn roster spots.
He obviously showed enough in training camp that the Steelers were comfortable keeping him, even if the intention was not to dress him unless there were injuries. They even, ultimately, played Henry Mondeaux ahead of him, who began the season on the practice squad, but with Tyson Alualu sidelined and Wormley on injured reserve, it was time to deploy the rookie out of Nebraska.
Davis ultimately played more than a dozen snaps and registered two tackles, and I must admit it was a bit of an adjustment to see number 73 out there plying his trade on the defense—a number worn for over a decade by the great and recently retired Ramon Foster.
But the young man now has the opportunity to write the next chapter in Steelers history for that number, and he got off to a fine start, registering a tackle for loss and playing up a screen for his first official statistic. If Alualu is a no-go for Sunday, he will have another shot at playing before heading back to the inactive list, most likely, but he showed that he could potentially have a bright future as no worse than a rotational player.