After three years as Tennessee's starting left tackle, Chris Scott is joining an NFL franchise that is loaded with offensive-line prospects. Consider:
- The Steelers return all five starters from last year's line - left tackle Max Starks (6-8, 345), left guard Chris Kemoeatu (6-3, 344), center Justin Hartwig (6-5, 312), right guard Trai Essex (6-5, 324) and right tackle Willie Colon (6-3, 315). Each is between the ages of 27 and 28 except for Hartwig, who is 31. Each started all 16 games last year except for Kemoeatu, who missed four games due to injury.
- Pittsburgh returns 2009 O-line reserves Ramon Foster, Doug Legursky, Kraig Urbik and Tony Hills. Foster is a second-year man from Tennessee who started four games as a rookie last season. Legursky saw backup action in eight games last season. Urbik and Hills did not play a year ago.
- The Steelers on March 10 signed tackle Jonathan Scott, who started eight games for the Buffalo Bills last winter.
- Pittsburgh spent its first-round draft pick on Florida center/guard Maurkice Pouncey and used its fifth-round choice on Scott.
- The Steelers then signed four undrafted rookie free agents to compete for offensive line jobs - guard Dorian Brooks (6-2, 306) out of James Madison, tackle Kyle Jolly (6-6, 300) out of North Carolina, center/guard A.J. Trump (6-3, 300) out of Miami and center Bradley Vierling (6-3, 290) out of Vanderbilt.
All of the above gives Pittsburgh 15 offensive-line prospects heading into mini-camp. Still, Scott has something that may give him an edge in the battle for roster spots - versatility. He can play either tackle spot and either guard spot. Heck, he can even play center in a pinch.
In a story posted on the Steelers' official website, Scott is quoted as saying: “I think I’m more versatile as an offensive lineman being that I can play all five positions along the offensive line. To have a lot of experience playing a lot of those positions, I think it’s a good thing to have, and that’s pretty much what describes me as a player overall.”
Offensive line coach Sean Kugler conceded on the same site that Scott's ability to play multiple positions is a valuable attribute, noting:
“He's a physical player. We feel he's got some position flexibility; we feel he's the type that could play guard for us, as well (as tackle), which is real important. And he played at a high level of competition each week in the SEC and did a nice job versus those guys. He's got great size, about 320 and we feel he can commit and compete.”