2022 Stock Watch – DL Isaiahh Loudermilk – 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: DL Isaiahh Loudermilk

Stock Value: Up

Reasoning: With the retirement of Stephon Tuitt, any remote question of second-year defensive lineman Isaiahh Loudermilk is rendered virtually moot, and comes close, perhaps, to even guaranteeing some meaningful playing time.

There was a more than realistic scenario—which still exists, but is now much less realistic—that the Steelers waltzed into the 2022 regular season with seven defensive linemen on the roster, perhaps even intending to dress six of them. I hope I don’t have to reiterate how uncommon this is.

That scenario largely hinged on Stephon Tuitt returning this season. His retirement, then, makes it much less likely, but it also makes second-year Isaiahh Loudermilk’s roster spot that much more secure. Because he was quite likely to be the seventh lineman, at least in terms of who makes the team.

It would have been Tuitt, Cameron Heyward, and Tyson Alualu in the starting lineup, with Chris Wormley and Montravius Adams the two gameday reserves. There would have to be room made for rookie third-round pick DeMarvin Leal.

Realistically, in a scenario in which Tuitt returned, and everybody was healthy, the only way the Steelers would have been able to carry Loudermilk without carrying seven defensive linemen would have been if he had just straight-up beaten out Wormley for the number three defensive end role and cut the veteran entirely.

Now the question is rendered moot. He will still have to earn his spot against the likes of Carlos Davis, Khalil Davis, and Henry Mondeaux, but Loudermilk should certainly be the favorite within that group, given how much he played last year, and his generally upward trajectory.

With Wormley bumped back up into the starting lineup, as well, that almost surely makes Loudermilk the top reserve defensive end, though that comes with a caveat. Since the Steelers will play primarily with two down linemen, Heyward and Alualu will mostly be on the field, so Wormley will effectively be the number three lineman for the majority of snaps. But they’re likely to rotate both Heyward and Alualu, so there should still be plenty of snaps for Loudermilk, as well as Adams.

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