2022 Stock Watch – iOL J.C. Hassenauer – Stock Up

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: iOL J.C. Hassenauer

Stock Value: Up

Reasoning: The veteran reserve started four of the Steelers’ final five games of the 2021 season, including the playoffs, with the final three games being in place of rookie Kendrick Green at center, a role he slipped into due to injury, but eventually took over.

After losing or parting with Matt Feiler and David DeCastro in the offseason, and Maurkice Pouncey retiring, the Steelers were in a bind as to what to do with their interior offensive line. They had one potential holdover in 2020 fourth-round pick Kevin Dotson. They drafted Kendrick Green in the third round. And when they cut DeCastro, they signed Trai Turner to take his place.

Those are the three players who started the most games at left guard, center, and right guard, respectively, in 2021. Only Turner could be said to have had a strong grip on his position, however, at least by the end of the year. Dotson spent the final nine games (including the postseason on the Reserve/Injured List. Green struggled, and eventually, J.C. Hassenauer took over the role.

The Steelers first signed Hassenauer after he played for the Birmingham Iron in the Alliance of American Football in 2019. He showed some potential, but didn’t even make the initial practice squad until injuries crept up and Patrick Morris was signed to the 53-man roster (and later poached when he was waived again).

The following year, he did make the team, and ended up serving as the primary backup center, starting four games in total, three at center. The story was roughly the same in 2021, playing about 300 snaps in each season.

Where does that leave him? He did show some growth from year to year, but he’s not a player that you hope is your starter. He is a capable backup at this point in his career. But if they don’t address the center position and Green continues to struggle, or even gets moved to guard, there is a scenario in which Hassenauer is your primary starting center in 2022.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!