5 Steelers that will be starters by this time next season
By Andrew Falce
Steelers Carlos Davis
Another late-round pick from last year’s draft, Carlos Davis figures to be a key rotational defensive lineman this season as his role expands with the team. While he can and will play all over the line, his best fit is as a nose tackle. That spot is currently occupied by the reborn Tyson Alualu, but age is catching up to the veteran. 2021 could easily be Alualu’s final season with the Steelers, and potentially in the league altogether.
This would leave Davis as the best fit to start at nose tackle heading into the next offseason. Based on his limited play in 2020, he should be more than comfortable in that role. Despite an extremely small number of defensive snaps, Davis was regularly getting a push-up front and bullying offensive lines. With his spot on the roster seemingly ahead of Isaiah Buggs, Davis should have little issue tripling his snap counts from last season.
Now, being a base nose tackle is an unglamorous job, and even if he becomes the starter, he wouldn’t be playing more than 30-40 percent of the defensive snaps. That said, the line has become a lot more fluid with their players, and Davis could certainly see some time at defensive end even though his size is lacking there. At the end of the day though, Davis should be the favorite to become the starter by next season as his solid play was hopefully only a precursor to what he can do long-term.