Now that training camp is underway, and the roster for the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: DE L.T. Walton
Stock Value: Up
Or stock purchased, to be more accurate, given that he wasn’t even on the roster last week. The Steelers signed one of their former players, L.T. Walton, after they were forced to put Stephon Tuitt on injured reserve, requiring surgery on a torn pectoral muscle he suffered in the last game.
I would be inclined to write about some ramifications from the fallout of the Anthony Chickillo arrest, but it’s still too early, as we don’t know what the Steelers will do in response to the situation. So I’ll wait on that.
I would also write about Isaiah Buggs, but in light of the re-signing of Walton, we don’t yet know if the rookie’s status is going to change. If Walton is going to be dressing for games, then Buggs will simply remain in the same role that he already occupied, which is as a healthy scratch.
But one thing that is not in question is that Walton’s stock is up, considering that he now has a buyer. While he was in a camp, he was not on any team until the Steelers signed him. In fact, he was prepared to enter the XFL draft before the signing was made.
A former sixth-round pick, he spent four years with the Steelers, but spent about half of that time projected as a healthy scratch, barring injuries, including last season. But he served as the backup nose tackle in 2017, and in 2016, due to injuries, he even ended up working in a starting role, which is what helped convince the coaches he could be asked to do more the following season.
It will be interesting to see what the coaches decide to do here, or if they even have a clear idea of what approach they will take with the fifth defensive lineman yet. Walton offers experience and familiarity, but Buggs could potentially offer more in sub-packages as a pass rusher.