The Pittsburgh Steelers made a trade last week with the Baltimore Ravens, only the second time this has happened since 1998, to acquire defensive lineman Chris Wormley. Wormley is a former 3rd round draft pick out of Michigan, and is a player fans should be excited about as an addition to the defensive front.
Before you get extremely excited, it is all about setting appropriate expectations for what Wormley brings to the team. If you expect the next Cam Heyward to just have been acquired, then you will be extremely disappointed. But if you see Wormley as an acquisition similar to Tyson Alualu, you might be pleasantly surprised with the trade.
In 2019 the Steelers’ defense was transformed into a top tier unit, but it wasn’t as if they were perfect. One area of weakness the Steelers’ defense had in 2019 was their run defense. It wasn’t horrible, but they ranked 14th surrendering 109.6 yards per game. Maybe I am someone who still longs for a stifling run defense, but run defense is the strength of Wormley’s game.
Wormley isn’t going to get after the quarterback like Javon Hargrave did, and he might not be as dominant at the point of attack as Stephon Tuitt or Hargrave, but he has versatility and should be a great rotational player to play with Alualu without suffering a huge drop off in talent.
Check out some of Wormley’s highlights from his time in Baltimore:
The Steelers’ defense lost Hargrave, but the addition of Wormley certainly helps soften the blow of Hargrave heading to the Philadelphia Eagles. The defensive line now has two capable duos, as long as everyone stays healthy, and this will make the defense better as a whole.
When you think about the 2019 defense you saw a secondary get transformed into a top unit thanks to the additions of Steven Nelson and Minkah Fitzpatrick. With Wormley the defense becomes more complete, and if they can improve their run defense into the top 10 in the league, it will go a long way towards them becoming even more dominant in 2020.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the 2020 NFL Draft in late April, and the start of the regular season.