2022 Pre-Draft Movements – Defensive Tackle

We started this series with a little over two weeks remaining to the draft, knowing that nearly all of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pertinent personnel decisions will have already been made by then. Over the course of the series, we will be reviewing the team’s roster turnover position by position in an effort to help us project what their plans will be for the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Steelers did not have as many starters as last year hit free agency, but as of yet, they have only re-signed one of note, Chukwuma Okorafor. JuJu Smith-Schuster has already signed elsewhere, but others such as Trai Turner, Joe Haden, and Terrell Edmunds remain unsigned.

They were substantially active in free agency, however, re-signing Ahkello Witherspoon, Arthur Maulet, Miles Killebrew, Montravius Adams, Robert Spillane, Marcus Allen, and J.C. Hassenauer. They also signed linemen James Daniels and Mason Cole in outside free agency, as well as quarterback Mitch Trubisky, cornerback Levi Wallace, wide receiver/returner Gunner Olszewski, linebacker Myles Jack, and outside linebacker Genard Avery.

The team did not have to make drastic moves in order to get into cap compliance, but they did release two high-salaried players in linebacker Joe Schobert and tackle Zach Banner. As of now, they have not restructured any contracts, though restructuring T.J. Watt later this offseason is likely.

Position: Defensive Tackle

Total Positional Figure: 4

Offseason Additions: 0

Offseason Deletions: 0

Players Retained:

Tyson Alualu: Soon to be 35 years old, Alualu remains committed to football. He is currently training with Cameron Heyward with a private coach. After missing almost all of last season because of a broken ankle, he is hungry to finish off his career the right way.

Montravius Adams: Signed in the middle of last season, Adams, a former third-round pick, was a pleasant surprise, particularly is quick get-off and athleticism for a man of his size. Both he and the Steelers seem hopeful this could be a long partnership.

Carlos Davis: A 2020 seventh-round draft pick, Carlos Davis spent a huge chunk of his second season injured. When he did return, he did not get many opportunities to contribute, and in fact, finished the season on the bench behind Henry Mondeaux. He’ll have to come in this offseason all guns blazing.

Khalil Davis: The twin brother of Carlos, Khalil was drafted a round earlier by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who let him go mid-season last year. The Steelers put in a waiver claim, meaning they were willing to stick him on their 53-man roster, but didn’t get him. When he was released again, they let him clear waivers and they signed him to their practice squad.

Players Added: N/A

Players Deleted: N/A

Notes And Draft Outlook:

Like the defensive end position, the Steelers have yet to make any movements at defensive tackle this offseason, beyond retaining the status quo. Re-signing free agent Montravius Adams was important, as is of course the assurance that Alualu is returning, but there is still the future to consider.

Neither of the Davis brothers have proven themselves as of yet, and Adams still has a limited body of work despite being a sixth-year veteran, having spent the majority of his career playing behind Kenny Clark. And Alualu is 35 years old.

In other words, the defensive tackle position could be one ripe for inclusion in the upcoming draft. The question is how high they are willing to address it. Could they actually take Jordan Davis in the first round? Not if they don’t have a plan to get him on the field a lot more than a 3-4 defensive tackle normally would. He does have the athleticism to make that a possibility. But any high pick here would have to be sub-package-capable.

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