With the group’s 2022 coaching camp now underway, deal with is maybe the Pittsburgh Steelers’ least skilled and confirmed place on the group’s present roster as they put together for the common season. Currently, the 2 projected starters on the deal with place are Dan Moore Jr., a second-year participant, and the re-signed Chukwuma Okorafor. In protecting the deal with duo collectively after a poor 2021 season, the Steelers look like banking on the event of 23-year-old Moore and 24-year-old Okorafor, which isn’t an unreasonable technique at face worth.
An addition of somebody to problem for the beginning function, or to function depth, is actually believable because the Steelers have a historical past of post-training camp trades to solidify less-than-satisfactory positions. A number of examples of this embody their 2021 commerce for linebacker Joe Schobert, the 2017 commerce for tight finish Vance McDonald, and the 2015 commerce for nook Brandon Boykin. Given that Okorafor not too long ago resigned, it’s protected to imagine that his beginning job just isn’t at important jeopardy. On the opposite hand, this coaching camp may be a check run for Moore.
An attention-grabbing identify on the commerce block to look out for within the case that the Steelers are unhappy with the present beginning offensive deal with pair, or depth behind the duo, is Chicago Bears 2021 second-round decide, deal with Teven Jenkins. With commerce rumors swirling and 6 straight missed practices, it seems possible that Jenkins won’t be a Bear in 2022. With that assumption, Justin Melo of The Draft Network recently listed the Steelers as one of three landing spots for Jenkins.
“Dan Moore Jr. appears set to start at left tackle for the second consecutive season after struggling as a rookie. The former fourth-round selection may not be Pittsburgh’s long-term answer on the blindside,” Melo acknowledged relating to the Steelers deal with place. “Chukwuma Okorafor returns to start at right tackle. Okorafor didn’t enjoy the most fruitful campaign in 2021 either, getting called for 11 penalties, per Pro Football Focus. Bringing in another developmental option such as Jenkins would be wise given the question marks that are present.”
Needless to say, Jenkins being a proper deal with makes for a clumsy match. Given that Okorafor was not too long ago re-signed to a multi-year deal and has began for the previous two years, it’s exhausting to think about his spot being stolen. Therefore, a commerce for Jenkins additionally possible sees him transfer to left deal with and compete towards Moore Jr. for the beginning job.
Positional questions apart, the suggestion that the Steelers may might commerce for Jenkins isn’t completely out of bounds. Jenkins was cited by draft analyst Tony Pauline as one of many three gamers the Steelers had been locked into within the first spherical of the 2021 draft alongside middle Landon Dickerson and the Steelers precise decide in operating again Najee Harris.
Jenkins underwent again surgical procedure previous to the 2021 season, solely dressing up for six video games and beginning in two. Adding a developmental participant in Jenkins with a possibility to begin after an offseason of restoration actually wouldn’t harm on the proper value. That mentioned, off-the-field issues will likely be a key think about whether or not the Steelers could have curiosity in Jenkins.
“There have been questions about Jenkins’ maturity and overall approach, but Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin has successfully managed difficult personalities before,” Melo acknowledged relating to Jenkins maturity. “Tomlin’s ability to keep Antonio Brown in check for several seasons is now viewed as a resume-building accomplishment. The Steelers also drafted wide receiver George Pickens this year, who had similar maturity questions coming out of college. Working under Tomlin’s tutelage may represent the best-case scenario for Jenkins.”
Granted, head coach Mike Tomlin’s administration of adverse personalities proves that it has been accomplished. The comparability to former receiver Antonio Brown, nonetheless, is an apples-to-oranges comparability, as Brown had the ample manufacturing whereas Jenkins is unproven. This is particularly vital within the context of figuring out whether or not to commerce for a participant, as mentioned issues are prone to lower the compensation that the Steelers are keen to present for Jenkins. This could make it unlikely for them to win a bidding conflict. Not to say, Jenkins could have fallen out of the primary spherical on account of harm issues along with his again. This harm can be what brought about him to take a seat out the vast majority of 2021 and is prone to disencourage the Steelers’ curiosity.