Kendrick Green has had an embarrassing rookie season. Was the rookie center the Pittsburgh Steelers’ biggest liability in 2021?
I’m very concerned about Pittsburgh’s ability to assess NFL talent. This is not the first time that something like this has happened. Over the better part of a decade, Kevin Colbert and the Steelers front office rocked and missed the top picks with players like Jarvis Jones, Artie Burns, Sammie Coates, Dri Archer and Senquez Golson. They also signed unspectacular players in the first round like Terrell Edmunds and Devin Bush.
Sadly, their unspectacular streak of picks appears to continue throughout the 2021 draft. While Pat Freiermuth and Najee Harris will likely prove to be pretty good footballers in this league, Pittsburgh third-round pick Kendrick Green, looks like a bust.
After being discussed by the coaching staff and the front office during the selection, Green was a colossal disappointment. The rookie center has been asked to replace recently retired Maurkice Pouncey as the Pittsburgh starting center, but he fell short of expectations.
Although Green showed excellent quickness with the moving foot and reaching the second level, he often breathed the blocks and his technique was incredibly sloppy. However, Green’s biggest weakness is that he is engulfed by stronger defensive linemen and lacks core strength. Because of this, it is easily thrown when blocking the stroke and simply cannot anchor into the pass protection.
Was Green the Steelers’ worst starter in 2021?
For some, that’s not even a question. It was hard to notice anything positive Kendrick Green did on the football field and he often allowed rushers to walk freely past him. However, there were a lot of bad starters in this team this year. Rookie offensive lineman Dan Moore was one of them.
In fact, Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been pretty terrible across the board this year, and their off-the-ball linebacking body could be one of the worst in the league. In addition, Ben Roethlisberger has not had a good season and the attack was quite limited due to his immobility and reluctance to throw the ball onto the pitch.
Still, it’s hard to argue that – when it comes to their position – any starter was worse than Green for the Steelers in 2021. According to Pro Football Focus, the Steelers rookie ranked 33rd best center player. Considering there are only 32 starting centers in the NFL, that’s not where the team wanted to see it.
Plus, it’s becoming increasingly clear just how damaging Green is when he starts center for the Steelers. Although active in Week 17, the team rode with the healthier JC Hassenaur, and the results were much more favorable as Najee Harris was able to rush for 188 yards on 6.7 yards per carry.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of reason to hope things could get better with Green. While I had many questions about the prospect of exiting Illinois this year due to his small size and lack of anchor power on the film, the Steelers found reason enough to take it to third. round against Quinn Meinerz – who has had an impressive rookie season for the Denver Broncos.
The Steelers struggle to trust their talent assessment, and Kendrick Green is just one of the latest examples. For my money, he was the team’s worst starter this year, and one of the biggest liabilities they have right now.