The draft is officially over and attention will shift to OTAs and off-season camps. The 90-man roster is set and the team will be looking at their depth chart for every position entering camp. This series will examine who has the inside chances to be higher on the depth chart come August. For this edition, we will look at offensive tackles.
Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Tackle Depth Chart Projections
Left Tackle: Alejandro Villanueva
Villanueva has started each of the past 26 games for the Steelers. Villanueva is an Army Ranger turned defensive lineman, turned tight end, turned left tackle. However, for how raw he is he has fared extremely well in the NFL. The Steelers and Villanueva are negotiating a long-term contract, and while the talks are still very young, there is a good bet Villanueva is the starter of the future at left tackle.
Right Tackle: Marcus Gilbert
Gilbert has been one of the more consistent players on the team over the past few seasons. In fact, in 2016 Pro Football Focus graded Gilbert as the fourth best player on the Steelers and the third-best right tackle in the NFL. This will essentially be the third straight year of Gilbert and Villanueva starting together, and it will be the second straight off-season. The duo should only improve together and can be one of the top groups in the NFL.
Last season Hubbard put in 351 snaps. Gilbert missed a couple of starts and Hubbard subbed in for him. However, Hubbard also found himself a role as a sixth lineman and an extra tight end. Hubbard can also play guard, while only in an emergency role. He has an assured role and a roster spot and should slot in as the swing tackle once again.
4. Jerald Hawkins
Hawkins rookie season was a wash spent on the Injured Reserve. Now, the former fourth-round pick will be competing for a roster spot. The Steelers drafted him knowing he was a project, so sitting out the first season is not a major loss. He should have an inside edge to make a roster and the Steelers should still have high hopes as he enters year two.
5. Brian Mihalik
Mihalik was not active for a single game but he was called up from the practice squad last year as an emergency inactive. He does not have experience but knows the system. He will be in a training camp battle with Hawkins for one of the teams last roster spots.
6. Matt Feiler
Feiler came from the Houston Texans but spent most of the past two seasons on the Steelers practice squad. He is longer shot to make the roster but will enter camp with a chance to beat out the two names ahead of him.
7. Jake Rogers
Rogers comes from the Panthers practice squad. He has been on three teams in the past two seasons but has yet to make a roster. He will likely be a stretch to make the Steelers roster as well.
Milton has bounced around the league and has not spent a game on an active roster since 2014. Milton is likely just a camp body at this point.