On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they had signed cornerback Ross Cockrell to the roster and that’s probably not overly surprising being as they showed some interest in him prior to the 2014 NFL draft.
During his Saturday press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin talked a little about the addition of Cockrell, who had been released by Buffalo Bills a few days ago.
“We really liked him a year or so ago when he came out of Duke,” said Tomlin. “A smart guy, savvy coverage guy, has good man-skills. Has got good, long arms and we’re excited about getting to know him and infusing him into our equation.”
Cockrell was drafted by the Bills last year in the fourth-round, but he only played 11 total snaps on defense for them during his rookie season.
At the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, Cockrell measured in at 6000 and weighed 191 pounds. He ran a 4.56 second 40-yard dash in addition to a 4.32 second 20-yard shuttle. The Steelers liked him enough to bring in for a pre draft visit last year.
Being as Cockrell will likely start off in Pittsburgh at the bottom of the cornerback depth chart, there’s a good chance he’ll be on the team’s eight inactives at the start of the regular season.
In essence, signing Cockrell gives the Steelers another 2014 fourth-draft pick. Over the course of the last few years, the team has added cornerbacks who weren’t with them during the preseason to their initial 53 man roster. Last year it was B.W. Webb and prior to that, Antwon Blake and DeMarcus Van Dyke were added in previous years. Webb was released on Saturday, however, while Van Dyke has been out of Pittsburgh for quite a while now.