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: OL J.C. Hassenauer
Stock Value: Even
Reasoning: The third-year offensive lineman’s position within the roster has not significantly shifted as we head into training camp, since the signing of free agents within the interior of the line.
There may have been a faint early glimmer of a possibility, very early in training camp, that J.C. Hassenauer would be competing for a starting job at center later this year. The reality is, of course, that any situation in which Hassenauer was a front-runner for a starting job would be one in which the Steelers were delinquent in their responsibility to improve the offensive line.
Of course, they didn’t waste any time in doing that, signing James Daniels and Mason Cole in free agency. Daniels is their new right guard, and Cole is going to be starting at center. Hassenauer is fighting for a reserve role, with Kevin Dotson and Kendrick Green duking it out to be the left guard.
The loser of the left guard battle will be one of the two primary reserve interior offensive linemen, but Hassenauer is the favorite to be the other one. He did help himself with his starting cameo late last season after Green was injured.
But, of course, he has to prove it all over again this summer. He’s still in that top group for the reserves, but they also have John Leglue, and Trent Scott and Joe Haeg are also capable of playing along the interior, which gives them some flexibility in filling out the bottom of the depth chart on the 53-man roster.
But considering he has been on the roster himself for the past couple of years, and he’s only gotten better over the course of that time, it’s hard to see him not making the team as we sit here right now, barring further additions during training camp.