Now that the 2021 season is over, bringing yet another year of disappointment, a fifth 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 have seen and are seeing over the course of the season and into 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 reasoning. 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. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: DL Carlos Davis
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: The second-year had a very disappointing and uneventful second season, which saw him spend a good chunk of time on the Reserve/Injured List and contribute little once he got healthy.
Even though he didn’t necessarily play a ton of snaps as a rookie in 2020, Carlos Davis, then a rookie seventh-round pick, showed a lot of flashes that got people encouraged about the player he could develop into. We even ran an article about how he could be the future nose tackle when it looked like Tyson Alualu was signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
There was an opening this past year, since Alualu fractured his ankle in the second game of the season, but the only problem was Davis got hurt as well. He played 17 snaps in the opener, but would not play again until week 15.
Nobody ever really elaborated on his injury, but it was a long while—late October, after the bye—before they even put him on the Reserve/Injured List, evidently believing up to that point that it was still going to be a short-term injury. Instead, he missed a few months.
By then, they already cycled through Isaiah Buggs and signed Montravius Adams, who became the Steelers’ starting nose tackle. Davis would return and play 34 snaps toward the end of the season, but he did not play in the regular-season finale nor the playoffs.
And he was healthy, too. The coaches just decided to dress Henry Mondeaux over him, even though Mondeaux had not been playing on special teams, and Davis did show the ability to play on special teams during the preseason.
So, he spent most of the season injured, and then when he got back, he ended up getting benched, even with three of the eight defensive linemen who made the initial 53-man roster unavailable. That’s obviously not the way you want to end a season, but there’s always next year.
And he’ll have his brother with him, as the Steelers did add Khalil Davis to their practice squad when he became available. When he was first waived, they actually tried to claim him (which would have required placing him on the 53-man roster), but another team got him. He cleared waivers when he was cut again, and then signed with Pittsburgh. Perhaps the two can motivate one another to get their careers off the mat.