Steelers most overlooked position to fill for the 2021 season
The likely in-house replacement for Alualu is Isaiah Buggs.
Isaiah Buggs has shown flashes here and there of being a quality interior defender in the NFL. However, these flashes are so few and far between, there is a lot left to be desired. That same list that Alualu graded 11th on, Buggs wasn’t even graded in the top 125. In the lone game that Buggs started in place of Alualu, the Cowboys ran for 144 yards, their 3rd highest total on the season.
Not only would Buggs be a rough option for replacing Alualu, but there also isn’t much left behind him. You could consider Carlos Davis who performed worse than Buggs, or Henry Mondeaux who was exciting to watch on special teams but was a liability defending the run. It’s not to say that none of these players could improve this offseason. Yet, the Steelers should not be comfortable with any of these players starting on game day in a long-term sense.
If the Steelers don’t want there to be a massive hole on the inside of the defense, they must re-sign Alualu or draft a replacement. Seeing as Alualu is on the verge of declining, but would command money either way drafting a replacement is probably the way to go.