The Steelers will enter the 2019 free agency period with a big need for depth along their defensive front. Unless re-signed by the end of the league year at 11:59 p.m. on March 13th, rotational players Tyson Alualu, Daniel McCullers, and L.T. Walton will all become unrestricted free agents, leaving the team with their three starters and no depth. While they could decide to bring these players back, it would be wise to take this opportunity and added cap space to bring in some higher quality players. Here’s a look at some possible additions.
DT Christian Covington | Age 25 | 6-foot-2, 305 pounds | 2018: 15 tackles, 3.5 sacks
Covington is a solid run-stuffer and pass-rusher in the middle of the line with two gap capability. Covington has quick feet that really help his ability to stunt. However, a bicep tear ended his 2018 season in Week 8, so how well that injury heals could certainly be a concern.
DT Darius Philon | Age 25 | 6-foot-1, 300 pounds | 2018: 33 tackles, 4 sacks
Philon is a big man in the middle with the ability to drop into coverage and make sideline tackles, which is hard to come by. Another two-gap-capable guy, Philon impresses with his speed and power. After early-career injury issues, Philon has only missed two games over the last two years.
DT Rodney Gunter | Age 27 | 6-foot-5, 304 pounds | 2018: 44 tackles, 4.5 sacks
Gunter is a powerful player who is great against the run and a solid interior pass rusher. While he was a one-gap player in Arizona, he appears to have the speed to play in a two-gap scheme. Gunter is an intelligent player who is also an excellent pursuit tackler with a high motor. He’s yet to start all 16 games in a single season, so durability is certainly an issue.
DE Henry Anderson | Age 28 | 6-foot-6, 298 pounds | 2018: 35 tackles, 7 sacks
Anderson is a long-armed player with a great jump off the ball who uses his length very well. He’s also the most versatile player of this bunch. The Jets lined him up both over the center and out to the tackle position. He suffered a rare laryngeal fracture (throat) during his time with the Colts but proved this season he has put that injury behind him.
These players should definitely be on the Steelers’ free agent radar. Fans will find out soon enough who will be brought in. Without a doubt, though, the need for help on the line is visible.