4 glaring weaknesses on Steelers roster exposed before Week 6 bye

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3. Mason Cole, Center

I wasn't a huge fan of the Mason Cole signing by the Steelers during the 2022 offseason. I thought, at best, Pittsburgh was getting a stop-gap starter at the center position, but Cole is a player I always believed would be best as a swing interior backup. So far in 2023, he's showing why he does not belong in the starting lineup.

After a somewhat respectable season in 2022, this year has been a trainwreck for the veteran offensive lineman. Cole has been routinely humiliated in pass protection and has earned a pass-block grade of just 26.2 on the season so far.

The collection of his awful play this year has caused him to grade out as the 33rd-best center in the NFL. Considering there are only 32 starting centers in the league, this is not at all where the team needs him to be. His inability to hold up has resulted in Kenny Pickett bailing from the pocket and getting a case of the jitters when dropping back to pass.

It's become abundantly clear why the Pittsburgh Steelers seemed so interested in exploring the center options early in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, the position was ultimately ignored as they couldn't pass on players like Joey Porter Jr. and Keeanu Benton in the second round. Center will no doubt be one of the top priorities for this team in 2024.