Training camp has begun and the Pittsburgh Steelers released their first depth chart of the 2021 season. As NFL fans know, the first depth chart of the season is never what it looks like at the very end of the season. Looking ahead, there are several spots on the Steelers’ that could look different come December. Here are the players that I see possibly making a jump into the starting lineup before the season’s end.
1.) Kendrick Green over J.C. Hassenauer
The Steelers are not exactly known for starting rookies immediately. Green will have to sit back and watch to begin the season, but with how important the center position is, Hassenauer may have a very tight leash. Injuries to the offensive line unfortunately happen way too often as well. If Hassenauer goes down just for a couple plays at any point in the season, all it would take is for Ben Roethlisberger to prefer Green from then on. The Steelers drafted Green foreseeing him as a starter for years down the road. That could begin at any point throughout this season.
2.) Pat Freiermuth over Eric Ebron
Same concept here. Head Coach Mike Tomlin would never give Freiermuth the #1 spot immediately with a seasoned veteran in Ebron on the roster. With that said, if Ebron’s drops from last season continue and he isn’t as efficient in the run game helping a newly crafted offensive line, Freiermuth may get more and more snaps as the season continues. It will be interesting to see how the Steelers handle this tight end situation. Heath Miller was the last true dependable tight end in Pittsburgh and if Freiermuth shows maturity and has success early, the #1 spot could be calling his name.
3.) Melvin Ingram III over Alex Highsmith
I am a big fan of Highsmith. I want to seem him excel and act as a perfect compliment to T.J. Watt. Bringing in Ingram will hopefully drive him to be better and a take significant step forward. As of now, this is really the only question on the defensive side of things barring any injuries. Ingram will get some time early on in the season and if he applies pressure and enhances the defense, these two may be in for a serious position battle all season. Competition is never a bad thing, however. Whoever solidifies himself in this role, it will because he outworked and outplayed another talented player at the outside linebacker position.
4.) Pressley Harvin III over Jordan Berry
It is no secret that punting has not been the Steelers strong suit in many years. Using any draft pick on a punter, regardless of what round, tells me the Steelers believe Harvin III may be the future at the position down the road, but two punters won’t be on the active roster. This position battle is likely to be decided by the end of the preseason and I expect the rookie draftee to heavily be considered for the starting punter job. Both of these guys will battle it out in training camp and throughout preseason. Let the best punter win.
What do you think will change on the depth chart by season’s end, #SteelerNation? Let us know in the comments below!