Steelers DL roster bubble: Isaiahh Loudermilk
A defensive line is a position that feels both deep and shallow at the same time. I am happy with the projected starters. Cameron Heyward is still his usual elite self while Larry Ogunjobi should be better in year two and Keeanu Benton has a lot of promise as both a nose tackle and potential end.
There are some intriguing names on the depth chart. Chief among them is second-year player DeMarvin Leal. He was used in a variety of roles as a rookie, and the expectation is for his versatility to still be relied on. The issue is, I struggle to see him as a pure defensive end, as he struggles against the run and doesn’t have ideal size.
With some questions at defensive end depth, an experienced backup in Isaiahh Loudermilk should be able to make the team with relative ease, right? I’m not certain. The Steelers traded up for Loudermilk in a surprise move a few years ago, and while there was promise as a rookie, he seemingly regressed last year.
He offers next to nothing as a pass rusher, and his run defense is only average at best. With so many new names on the team, I’m not sure Loudermilk will be afforded another chance. At the bare minimum, players from other rosters could easily be playing for his spot if he makes the roster out of camp.
There was hope that Loudermilk would make a jump last season, but it never happened. He was never going to be an every-down starter, but the hope was for him to develop into a sound backup. That hasn’t happened, and the Steelers may decide to cut bait with him because of his regression as a player.