Steelers OG Kendrick Green could be moving back to center
By Tommy Jaggi
When the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Kendrick Green in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, it was with the mindset that he would transition to center full-time in the NFL. This team had just lost 9-time Pro Bowler, Maurkice Pouncey, to retirement, and they were searching for his replacement.
Green was initially a defensive tackle who converted to the interior offensive line coming out of high school as a three-star recruit. However, his utter lack of size and length caused many to believe that his best position would come at center in the NFL.
The Steelers tried him here in his first season, but after struggling mightily as a rookie, they moved him back to guard in 2022. That's when things went from bad to worse. Throughout training camp and the preseason last year, Green showed the inability to anchor against more powerful defensive tackles when blocking one-on-one. These struggles led to him getting buried on the depth chart and not appearing in a single game last season.
Now it looks like the coaching staff could be shifting their views on Kendrick Green once again. On May 23rd, Steelers OTAs officially kicked off, and practice footage from Jeff Hathhorn of 93.7 The Fan sure makes it looks like Green is taking snaps as the second-team center.
When this video was posted, fans were quick to point out that Dan Moore Jr. is working as the first-team left tackle ahead of Broderick Jones (which isn't unexpected). The Steelers are going to make Jones prove himself and win the job (which will happen soon enough).
What many fans failed to notice is that Kendrick Green is lining up behind Mason Cole. By the end of the 19-second clip, the coaches swap Cole for Green as he gets some work with the first-team offensive line.
Kendrick Green could battle for the Steelers center job
A transition back to center was something that I hardly heard Pittsburgh media members talk about during the offseason. However, I have been adamant since day one that Green would not make it as a guard, and that the experiment to move him back was foolish. At 6'1 7/8'' and 305 pounds with a tiny 77'' wingspan, Green just doesn't have the mass to hold up anywhere on the OL, but perhaps at center.
Interestingly, it looks like Green and Cole were splitting snaps at center during the first session at Steelers OTAs. This means that perhaps not only does the coaching staff intend to move him back, but he may also be given the opportunity to show how he has improved -- perhaps even a slight chance to reclaim his former role.
It's highly unlikely that Green becomes anything more than a career backup at this point -- especially considering the incredibly rocky start to his NFL career. However, if he remained at guard, he would be buried behind Isaac Seumalo, James Daniels, Nate Herbig, and Kevin Dotson. If the team does intend to move him back to center, at least he will have a chance to stick around and salvage his career.