The Continuous Growth Of The Steelers Offensive Line
For the most part, the Pittsburgh Steelers' 2022 season has been filled with more valleys than peaks. As the team currently sits at 5-8 and is well out of a playoff spot, there have been few positives with this year's team.
The exception in this case has been the Steelers' offensive line, guided by new offensive line coach Pat Meyer. Although it has seen its share of issues, they continue to progress each week, as continuity has been an important aspect.
According to ESPN analytics, the Steelers offensive line is ranked 8th in pass block win rate at 65% and moved up four spots to 16th in run block win rate at 71%. Their recent success at run blocking has resulted in an increase in time of possession, so much so that the offense is currently ranked 8th in average time of possession at 30:37.
The standout on the Steelers' offensive line this season has been free agent signee James Daniels. In addition to not allowing a sack this season, he is currently the team's highest-graded offensive lineman at 68.0, according to Pro Football Focus. What is encouraging to note is that each member currently holds a grade of 61 or higher with 830 or more offensive snaps played this season.
Chukwuma Okorafor - 61.2
Mason Cole - 66.8
Kevin Dotson - 64.0
Dan Moore Jr. - 61.5
Even with the continuous growth of this unit, they are still a long way from being recognized as one of the top units in the NFL. Though they have minimized the number of sacks allowed, some have been costly. In their Week 14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, a brief miscommunication in assignments resulted in a sack allowed and a concussion for Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett. Having said that, they would only allow one more sack for the rest of the game.
Many have suggested the possibility of the team selecting an offensive lineman early in the upcoming NFL Draft. Though perceived as an ideal move, the chemistry the current unit has established may not be easily duplicated with a new member. Perhaps it will not be a priority at the rate they are developing.