Nate Polvogt of FantasyPros recently published an offensive line rankings for the 2022 season. As expected, the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t fare well in Polvogt’s team rankings, slotting them in at 28th overall out of the 32 teams in the league.
“After fielding one of the worst blocking units in the league last season, Pittsburgh seems content to stick with the status quo for 2022. Adding free agent Mason Cole at center is risky — he only started one full season in 2018 in Arizona and hasn’t been more than a spot starter since. James Daniels is an excellent addition, but Dan Moore and Chukumwa Okorafor will need to show improvement for this unit to take a step up in 2022.”
The five starters Polvogt lists in his rankings for Pittsburgh are the five we presume are the favorites to start at their respective positions: LT Dan Moore Jr., LG Kevin Dotson, C Mason Cole, RG James Daniels, and RT Chukumwa Okorafor.
The concerns the writer has for Cole are warranted as he has been a journeyman of sorts, starting out at Arizona with the Cardinals before being traded in his fourth season to the Vikings, starting seven games (four at center, three at right guard) in 2021 before suffering an elbow injury that plopped him on IR in December. Still, Cole figures to a more consistent presence than Kendrick Green was as a rookie and should be an upgrade, especially as a run blocker based on his skillset.
Polvogt hits the nail on the head regarding Daniels being an “excellent addition” to the offensive line, likely the group’s best player. The same could be said for his stance on Okorafor and Moore needing to show improvement in their respective games for the group to improve the way the team hope it will this season.
Still, the additions of Cole and Daniels, along with Kevin Dotson hopefully healthy going into 2022, should be enough to help stabilize the IOL spots at a minimum. Both FA additions are proven run blockers, thus likely serving as upgrades over what the team fielded last year as mentioned with Green prior.
While Pittsburgh must prove to be worthy of a better ranking, an argument could be made that this unit on paper is superior to the one that took the field in 2021. For comparison sake, the author has the Commanders as a top ten unit in his rankings as well as having the Panthers and Falcons in the top 20 after being in the bottom of the barrel with Pittsburgh last season.
The Steelers offensive line will have to prove they belong out of the cellar after their dreadful performance last season. However, given the investment the team made in free agency this offseason, here’s hoping this unit will warrant ranking in the top 20 in 2022 and is on the way to a successful rebuilt like it underwent nearly a decade prior.
What are your thoughts on Pittsburgh’s OL coming in at #28 in the NFL? Is that ranking warranted? Do you think they will match that ranking, or will exceed expectations in 2022? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!