3. Kendrick Green
A third round pick in the 2021 draft, expectations were high for Kendrick Green.
The Steelers handed him the 53 jersey, the number of former All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey. The former Illinois Fighting Illini started fifteen games at center in 2021 and struggled. He had 6 penalties, tied for second most among centers, and had a 52.4 PFF grade. For reference, a 60 grade is an average season for a player.
Green's performance in 2021 prompted the team to make big moves in free agency, including bringing in Mason Cole and James Daniels, both of whom had experience playing center. In training camp, Cole won the job and J.C. Hassenauer became the primary backup center, leaving Green inactive for the majority of the season. Now in 2023, Green is facing a make or break training camp.
Mason Cole will be the starting center barring injury and the Steelers have good depth at the guard position. The only way Green makes the roster is as the backup center, now that Hassenauer is a New York Giant. However, Daniels can also play center if needed and the Steelers may value keeping someone like Kevin Dotson more than Green. If that's the case, I could see an early exit from Pittsburgh for the former 3rd round pick.