Historically, the Steelers do not prioritize the offensive tackle position. The Steelers lines of old have primarily consisted of dominant centers and at least one high-profile guard next to them, and offensive tackle always tends to take a back seat. Marcus Gilbert had his moments at right tackle, and Matt Feiler was more than sufficient at that same spot after Gilbert left. However, the left side is often ignored by the front office, and very little capital has been dedicated to that position despite its increasing importance.
Dan Moore, Jr. was an experienced left tackle in college who showed improvement at the end of last season, but the fact that his traits profile him more as a right tackle indicates he may have played out of position at Texas A&M. Perhaps this is why, despite the fantastic offensive line Moore was a part of, he never reached his full potential in college and dropped to Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft. We have seen flashes from Moore, but he has not shown any signs of being great on the left side.
If the Steelers had the luxury of moving Moore to the right side, the entire unit up front could see a drastic improvement. Unfortunately, that would then leave a hole at the most important position on the line: left tackle. Chukwuma Okorafor was an impressive left tackle in college, but after being trained almost exclusively as a right tackle in the NFL, it is difficult to determine whether or not he could hold his own and protect the quarterback’s blindside. Regardless of who plays at which tackle position, depth is another concern, as Joe Haeg is the only proven backup behind Moore and Okorafor.
That brings us to potential solutions. The most ideal fit in the eyes of the media would be former Kansas City Chief and Indianapolis Colt Eric Fisher, but even though I would rather sign him than role with who the team currently has, there is another option who is younger, cheaper, and better. That option is none other than Tyrell Crosby.
Crosby is a 26 year-old offensive tackle, formerly with the Detroit Lions. Crosby struggled with holding penalties early in his career, but he cleaned those issues up following the 2019 season, being responsible for only 2 holds in 11 games during the 2020 season. In 1,184 professional snaps, he has allowed only 7 sacks, consistently displaying great balance and footwork in pass protection. He has also matured greatly as a run blocker, especially as it pertains to gaining leverage.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “why is he available if he is as good as you say?” Well, can I say bad luck, even though I do not believe in luck? Crosby is the victim of an unfortunate circumstance in which an injury was misdiagnosed by the Lions coaching staff. He was originally listed on the injury report with a hamstring injury, but all indications suggest the injury was misdiagnosed, as he underwent back surgery three months after the original diagnosis of a hamstring strain.
Crosby has struggled to hide his frustration with the Lions organization and how they handled the situation last year, and after a recent interview with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, he fully opened up about the situation, saying he felt betrayed by how he was treated in Detroit last year.
Not being there personally, I cannot speak on how the Lions truly treated him, but it seems as if he was simply a victim of an unfortunate circumstance. He seems ready to get a fresh start elsewhere, and that is what makes the Steelers such a match for him. He would have every opportunity to earn a starting role as the season progresses, and he would be in a healthy organization that has a long track record of treating its players well.
While I understand the injury concerns that come along with a signing of this nature, one must also realize that signing Crosby would cost hardly anything, making him the perfect low-risk, high-reward option the Steelers could so desperately use at offensive tackle.
What are your thoughts on Crosby? Do you see him as a potential fit in Pittsburgh? Be sure to light up the comment section below with your thoughts on this topic and all things black and gold!