With the 2017 NFL Draft now over and the bulk of the heavy lifting done with regard to the roster building process now out of the way, it is easier to begin to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand at certain positions, and what the implications might be of a variety of moves for certain players.
And take stock is what we shall do, as every move has ramifications up and down the roster, so now we will take a look at some specific players and see how the team’s moves during the course of the offseason thus far, and more specifically since the draft, have sent their stock rising, falling, or breaking even.
Player: Scott Orndoff
Stock Value: Even
In a year in which many expected, or at least hoped, that the Steelers would make a serious investment in the tight end position—especially after they released Ladarius Green—the pair of rookie undrafted free agents that constitute their only additions to the group this offseason have been afforded quite a bit of attention, and each for different reasons.
When it comes to Scott Orndoff, he is being viewed as a possible traditional model tight end. A product of Pittsburgh, he has the conventional size and blocking prospects to be able to grow and be molded into the sort of traditional tight end that has more or less been synonymous with Steelers football.
They do have at least one of those on the roster already in Jesse James, the third-year man out of Penn State, drafted in the fifth round as an underclassman, and he is currently expected to serve as their top tight end, but one has to wonder what his ceiling is.
I am not by any means implying that Orndoff has a higher ceiling than James or anticipating that he will become a better player, but I do think that he could potentially be a sound developmental prospect, and I think that he is likely to make the practice squad this season.
As for right now, the rookie has not had a lot of opportunities to show off his skill set, because there is not a lot of blocking to speak of during the spring, so with that in mind, it would be hard to argue that he has really done anything to raise or lower his value more than a sliver over the course of the spring.
Let’s see what he looks like in backs on backers before we start really fleshing out or opinions of who Orndoff is as a player, or could be. Let’s see if he is able to move bodies at the line of scrimmage against the run, or come up with a tough catch in traffic to move the sticks on third down.
Those are the kind of things that he is going to have to show at the end of July and throughout August in order to raise his value, to land a spot on the practice squad—perhaps even the 53-man roster, if he proves promising enough.