NFL Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Players Whose Stock Has Gone Down

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5 Players Whose Stock Has Gone Down

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

To make a list of players from the Pittsburgh Steelers whose stock has dropped after the first half of the season wouldn’t be a difficult task. Numerous players in all phases of the game can easily be considered. The offense is ranked in the bottom half of just about every statistical category, the defensive unit has struggled despite being the 12th best defense in the NFL, and special teams has shown inconsistency and lacked big plays.

Two players that would have made the list of players with falling stock are running back Isaac Redman and punter Zoltan Mesko. Both Redman and Mesko were cut by the Steelers.

Other players who are currently on the roster that could be on this list are linebackers Kion Wilson and Vince Williams. Wilson was released, then re-signed when Pittsburgh severed ties with Redman. Williams, the Steelers' 2013 sixth-round draft pick, stepped in as a starter. However, both Wilson and Williams were liabilities to Pittsburgh’s run defense.

A top-five list could have been made with the offensive line alone. The Steelers' starting front five has been unable to get things right in pass protection and in leading the way for the running game. At the halfway point of the season, Pittsburgh has surrendered the second-most sacks in the league (32) and has done virtually nothing for a ground attack that is averaging 73.6 yards per game (28th in the NFL).

Although it took some doing to whittle down the list to five players, here are the Steelers whose stock has plummeted after the first half of the regular season.

Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+

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5. Jonathan Dwyer

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Even after not making the original 53-man roster for the 2013 season, running back Jonathan Dwyer found his way back to the Steel City. Unfortunately, the emergence of rookie Le’Veon Bell and the addition of Felix Jones has put Dwyer on the bottom of the depth chart. Not even the release of Redman helped his chances of seeing the field.

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4. Troy Polamalu

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The good news for veteran safety Troy Polamalu is that he hasn’t been ravaged with injuries like he has over the past couple of seasons. The bad news is that his coverage in the secondary has left Pittsburgh's pass defense vulnerable.

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3. Cortez Allen

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

At the start of the regular season, cornerback Cortez Allen was sidelined with an injury, but came back only to struggle once placed in the starting lineup. Now, Allen has been supplanted by fellow cornerback William Gay.

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2. Ziggy Hood

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive end Ziggy Hood is another player who has lost his starting position on the defensive side of the ball. The fifth-year veteran is in the final year of his contract and will find it difficult to convince the Steelers, and other teams throughout the league, that he is worth a big contract from the bench.

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1. Jarvis Jones

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones was in position to break a long-time tradition in the Steel City. Jones, the 17th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, earned a starting spot on the right side of Pittsburgh’s starting linebacking corps. Unfortunately, his inability to fully grasp the team’s defensive concept led to head coach Mike Tomlin placing the rookie on the bench.