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Steelers Analysis

Jets OL Could Solve Steelers Backup Center Problem



Steelers Trystan Colon

The Steelers have a backup center problem. That is no secret to anyone who has watched games. While some internal options exist, including Nick Herbig, Spencer Anderson, Kendrick Green, and James Daniels, none check every box ideal for a traditional backup center.

But there could be a partner out there waiting for the Steelers. The New York Jets have a glut at the center position. With starter Connor McGovern, newly drafted Joe Tippmann, and another serviceable veteran in Wes Schweitzer, a fourth player seems on the outside of that room. Trystan Colon will likely not make the team, but he is an NFL offensive lineman and has proved it over the past three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

According to Rich Cimini of ESPN, Colon is on the trade block, and multiple teams want to acquire him. Colon started his first career against the Steelers while with the Ravens in 2020. However, what sticks out about Colon is his steadiness as a depth player and the versatility he could bring to the offensive line.

Colon has played the most snaps in his four NFL starts at center, with 244 snaps. But he can also play both guard spots, logging a start at right guard in his career. In his three seasons in Baltimore, Pro Football Focus loved Colon in the short spurts he filled in along the Ravens offensive line, giving him above-average grades across run blocking and pass blocking in each of his first three seasons.

Backup centers are never flashy, but Colon has solid athleticism and notable experience. The Steelers can feel more comfortable adding guys to the room they have seen from around the division before.  A guy like Larry Ogunjobi is a prime example of that philosophy where the Steelers saw him with the Bengals and the Browns. Colon brings a steady backup center option and could cost a late-day three-pick if Pittsburgh wants to secure his services via trade.

If Colon happens to hit waivers, it seems unlikely that they would win him in a claim situation. If multiple teams are champing at the bit to land Colon, Pittsburgh probably needs to acquire him in a trade scenario outright. Colon’s steady attributes, including his hands and football IQ, give him a high floor. There are some similar traits to B.J. Finney, who never was an elite player but gave the team sure depth that could fill in admirably for spot starts whenever needed. Colon can provide that same insurance if the Steelers lose Cole for an extended period.

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