With the start of training camp set to get underway at that end of this week, we’ll continue on with our annual polls asking you to vote on whether or not certain Pittsburgh Steelers players, who are perceived as being on the bubble, will ultimately make the final 53 man roster out of training camp.
We’ve already had you vote on eight players and you can find links to those polls along with the results of each below. Today, we will discuss defensive end Matt Conrath and have you vote on his future.
2014 Season Recap:
Dating back to the 2012 season, Conrath has bounced on and off the roster of the St. Louis Rams after originally being signed by them as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia. During that span of years, Conrath dressed for a total of nine games and he registered seven total tackles as well as a sack.
Last season, however, Conrath, who measured in at the 2012 NFL Combine at 6074, 290-pounds, spent the entire year on the Rams 10-man practice squad as St. Louis was more than stacked at their defensive tackle spots.
Many people, including Conrath, himself, believe he was miscast as a 4-3 NFL defensive tackle. In fact, he might very well have been drafted in 2012 had Virginia not changed from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 scheme during his junior year of college.
Now that he’s back in a 3-4 defense with the Steelers, Conrath has to learn the scheme quickly on his way to showing that he become a reliable reserve 5-tech defensive end at the NFL level. At the very least, he does have some meaningful NFL game experience already under his belt in addition to two full training camps with the Rams and that could play in his favor over the course of the next several weeks at Latrobe.
The Steelers normally like to keep only six defensive linemen on their 53-man roster and with four of those spots already spoken for, Conrath will have to beat out Cam Thomas, Clifton Geathers, Ethan Hemer, Joe Kruger, Mike Thornton and rookie draft pick L.T. Walton for one of those two remaining spots.
Thomas’ status during training camp might ultimately go a long way in determining whether or not Conrath makes the final roster this year because if he can’t beat out the aforementioned Geathers for the fifth spot, he and his $2 million salary will become very expendable.
As of right now, Conrath must be considered a player who is a few steps away from being able to look inside the roster bubble. However, that can change very quickly in the coming weeks.
Vote below and tell us the reason why you voted the way that you did in the comments.