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: Though we’ve already covered Carlos Davis early in the offseason process, I believe the roadmap for the defensive line group that has unfolded over the course of the past couple of months makes it more difficult to envision him having a secure spot on the 53-man roster, or possibly one at all.
Carlos Davis made the Steelers’ 53-man roster as a seventh-round draft pick out of Nebraska during a pandemic, in which he didn’t get to work with the team for most of the offseason, and had no preseason games to demonstrate his potential.
He got a lot of people, or at least a lot of nerdy people, excited during his rookie season about his potential to develop into a real contributor. Early on last offseason, when it looked like Tyson Alualu would be leaving, we talked about him as a candidate to take over at nose tackle.
With Alualu back and Montravius Adams re-signed on a two-year contract, how realistic is it that he even makes the team? Right now, he has to be on the outside looking in, if we presume that Stephon Tuitt will return.
You have Cameron Heyward, Alualu, and Tuitt in the starting lineup. Adams is your backup nose. Then you have Chris Wormley and Isaiahh Loudermilk to complete your defensive line group. Where does Davis fit in here?
Well, on the practice squad, along with his brother, Khalil, who is also on the offseason roster. And we haven’t even talked about the Steelers potentially using an early draft pick, maybe as early as the first round, on the defensive line.
He’ll need to have himself a rather impressive offseason to keep his roster spot, potentially even forcing the team to carry seven defensive linemen this go-around. And that’s easier said than done, though they did it for a long stretch in 2020—and they probably won’t carry six inside linebackers this year.