By: Zach Metkler, GZ Sports Report Writer
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After signing running back Knile Davis and cornerback Coty Sensabaugh within an hour on Monday, the Steelers continue to bring in free agents by signing former Jaguars defensive lineman Tyson Alualu to a 2-year deal.
In 2010, the Jaguars made the 6’3″, 295 lb. Alualu the 10th-overall pick and spent his first 7 years in the league in Jacksonville. During his time there, Alualu was a starter for a large portion of his career, starting 87 games out of a possible 110. Alualu has also demonstrated durability, having only missed 2 games due to injury in his career, something the Steelers desperately need. He also brings solid production to the Steelers, having 258 total career tackles, 17.5 sacks, 6 passes defended, and 2 forced fumbles, with 37 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble coming last season.
The Steelers have no need for starters along the offensive line at this point, with Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt the unquestioned starters. However, we have seen what injuries can do to the Steelers and having valuable, versatile depth is imperative if they expect to make another deep run in 2017. Alualu fits perfectly as a defensive end in the Steelers 3-4 scheme, but what makes him even greater is his versatility to also play a 3-technique defensive tackle in their nickel subpackages, which have became much more of the Steelers base defense under Keith Butler. The signing of Alualu likely ends the chance of Ricardo Mathews re-signing with the Steelers, who was a serviceable lineman last season. Alualu will move into the rotation alongside L.T. Walton, who began to make strides as a run-stopping defensive lineman but has had struggles rushing the passer. Alualu will help solidify both areas.
With a healthy Heyward and Tuitt and the versatile, blossoming tackle Javon Hargrave, Alualu provides the Steelers with much needed depth along the defensive line with the potential to start if injuries occur. Mark this one down as a solid signing for the Steelers.
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