Now that the 2021 offseason has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, 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 offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future.
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: Down
Reasoning: 24 hours ago, second-year Carlos Davis was likely looking at being in the competition for the starting nose tackle job in 2021. After the Steelers were able to bring back Tyson Alualu, he’s more likely to be competing for a roster spot, though indications from the end of last season suggest he would win such a batter.
Carlos Davis was able to overcome some notable odds over the course of his rookie season, but I’m not betting on the odds of his being able to unseat Tyson Alualu in 2021 as the team’s primary nose tackle, because that’s pretty much the only way forward for him currently.
As mentioned in my reasoning, the presumed departure of Alualu left the Steelers with a hole at the nose tackle position for a second year in a row, and Davis, along with third-year Isaiah Buggs (and possibly Henry Mondeaux as well) were to have been in competition to settle that position.
But Alualu is being brought back to get right back where he was in 2020, as the defense’s run stuffer up the middle right at the heart of their defensive front. And considering that they lost three of their best run defenders in Vince Williams, Mike Hilton, and Bud Dupree, that is a big deal.
With that said, while the return of Alualu puts a damper on his immediate chances of upward mobility, there is still every opportunity of a bright future ahead for Davis, who impressed in short stints as a rookie in 2020, after being selected out of Nebraska in the seventh round.
After all, last season, he was able to make the roster at a deep position—it was assumed that Daniel McCullers would make the team for the 18th year in a row—and then proceeded to work his way up the depth chart, surpassing Buggs by year’s end. The Steelers have seen and recognized his talent already. It’s just a matter of continuing to build on it.