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: With the Steelers’ third-round selection of defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal, third-year Carlos Davis just went from arguably inside the roster bubble to outside of it.
Stephon Tuitt is the elephant in the defensive line room, and until he either shows up or the regular season begins and he’s not there, that’s going to remain the case. All discussions of positional figures hinge on whether or not he’s going to take up one roster spot for the defensive line room.
Until we get a ‘no’ answer, however, the reader can take as a given that I will be discussing the 2022 defensive line with the assumption that Tuitt will be there, and in the starting lineup. And with Tuitt in the starting lineup, that probably means that Carlos Davis either on the practice squad, on another roster, or simply not on any roster.
Consider the positional breakdown coming out of the draft. You have Tuitt, Cameron Heyward, and Tyson Alualu your starting lineup. Following behind them is Chris Wormley, Montravius Adams, and now Leal.
You’re already trying to squeeze in Isaiaah Loudermilk, last year’s fifth-round draft pick, whom you made a special trade into the fifth round by giving up a future fourth just to get, who did show promise as his rookie season progressed.
That’s already seven defensive linemen, a number the Steelers have only carried for any meaningful length of time once during their 3-4 period. And that was just a couple of years ago, with Henry Mondeaux active and dressing as a special-teamer.
So where in the world does Carlos Davis fit into this? Of course, he could beat out Loudermilk for that seventh spot. And that’s assuming that there’s going to be a seventh spot. But I think it’s more likely that they do carry seven than that the seventh lineman is Davis and not Loudermilk, barring unforeseen events, such as injury.