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: T Dan Moore
Stock Value: Purchased
Reasoning: The Steelers used their first of two selections in the fourth round to choose Texas A&M tackle Dan Moore in the 2021 NFL Draft earlier this month.
As I sit here in hindsight and recall Alejandro Villanueva telling reporters during his introductory Zoom conference with the Baltimore media that the Steelers let him know early in the offseason process he wouldn’t be back, it does color their decision to sit until the fourth round to address the tackle position.
Many perhaps, including myself, felt that perhaps Villanueva would still be an option to be re-signed after the draft. After all, there were some reports that there was interest, which if Villanueva is to be believed, must have been incorrect. But we can only go on what we hear.
And so they passed on, for example, Teven Jenkins in the first round, and took Najee Harris instead. There were other directions to go in rounds two and three. Finally, in round four, they land upon Dan Moore, a physically gifted left-tackle-capable prospect out of the SEC from Texas A&M.
Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm seemed to strongly imply that he wasn’t going to be given training wheels, in the sense that he would be expected to compete for a starting job right away. Presumably, the primary competition would be at left tackle, where fourth-year Chukwuma Okorafor is, in Mike Tomlin’s words, penciled in as the starter there, after starting 16 games due to injury at right tackle a year ago.
It’s asking a lot to expect a fourth-round offensive lineman to start during his rookie season, but it’s not like it hasn’t been done before. Still, if Moore were to win a job, we could well be looking at a starting offensive line containing two rookies and a second-rounder with four starts.
As a prospect, however, Moore is intriguing. He definitely looks the part on paper, and tested well to boot. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he looks like the prototypical tackle, but I feel that he certainly won’t be held back by anything other than his actual skill set.