The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor is heading into free agency, as is Trai Turner.
These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Are all five of the Steelers’ intended starting offensive linemen currently on the 90-man roster?
The Steelers understood this offseason that the offensive line was their weakest position group last year. To that end, they re-signed right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor, but also added James Daniels and Mason Cole via free agency.
There is still more free agency to go if they wish to add more (they did just add a pass-rusher two days ago, for example), as well as the draft, and veterens inevitably get released after the draft as well. So the question we now have is: is this the line? Will the line that they intend to go into the 2022 season with be built from the players currently under contract?
As we sit here today, the prevailing assumption is that the starting offensive line will consist of, from left to right, Dan Moore Jr., Kevin Dotson, Mason Cole, James Daniels, and Chukwuma Okorafor. There are also Kendrick Green and perhaps J.C. Hassenauer in that discussion.
While they have interior offensive line depth, it feels very likely that they are going to add another tackle at some point after parting ways with Zach Banner. Joe Haeg is currently their swing tackle, but the most plausible candidates behind him are Chaz Green and John Leglue and—that’s not going to cut it.
The team can still conceivably upgrade at just about any position short of whichever spot Daniels will start in, but at this point, it does feel unlikely that they would sign another probable starter via free agency.