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: OL Dan Moore Jr.
Stock Value: Even
Reasoning: Reports on Dan Moore Jr. from OTAs and minicamp were pretty underwhelming, indicating that he had his share of struggles, particularly against the speed rush in pass sets, though that is not uncommon for a player at this stage of development.
As I’ve said in previous installments in this series, there’s simply not enough to go on, except in extreme cases, where something can happen on the field that really justifies knocking a rookie’s stock value. Players are expected to be works in progress, and especially for linemen at a time before pads are put on, it shouldn’t be a shock if somebody doesn’t look particularly great.
That does seem to have been the case for rookie fourth-round tackle Moore, however, for his first taste of the NFL. piecing together various accounts from the swath of beat writers who observed spring drills, it really sounded as though Cassius Marsh in particularly often had his way with him.
And I’m speculating that that says at least as much about Moore as it does about Marsh, a career journeyman who will be competing with rookie sixth-round pick Quincy Roche for the right to act as the number three edge defender on the Steelers’ defense this year after losing multiple players in free agency.
The Texas A&M product is no stranger to quality competition, seeing it most weeks as a starting left tackle for an SEC school, and really, we shouldn’t put much stock in what he may or may not have looked like in May and June. But it is at least worth acknowledging the evident reporter consensus before we get into training camp next week.
Just after he was drafted, new offensive line coach Adrian Klemm shot down implications that Moore might be something of a project, contending that he has every expectation that he should be able to compete for a starting job right away.
As of now, fourth-year Chukwuma Okorafor is expected to take over for Alejandro Villanueva at left tackle, while Zach Banner returns from injury to play right tackle. Neither have much experience in these spots, so Moore could have hardly come into a better situation, if he genuinely has the talent, at this point in his career, to start.