There are not a lot of meaningful conclusions that you can reach about a player after the end of his first season, but that certainly doesn’t stop people from talking about it. You can find just about any variety of analysis that you would care to read if you just look for it, complete with bold letter grades.
I’m not going to do that. But I am going to talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers’s 2015 NFL Draft class, both collectively, in this article, as was as individually, in succeeding articles.
While the tides have slowly turned in Pittsburgh regarding rookie players being held back in terms of playing time in recent years, the 2015 class outside of their first-round pick did not get a lot of burn during the year, but that shouldn’t be terribly surprising in hindsight.
The Steelers entered the draft process this year with eight draft picks, including the seven natural draft picks in each round, in addition to a compensatory draft pick in the sixth round, in addition to some notable undrafted free agent acquisitions.
Player: Cameron Clear
Draft Status: Undrafted
The Pittsburgh Steelers seemed dead set on finding a new tight end that would stick last year, for obvious reasons that have only become more obvious in the past month for reasons that are even more obvious.
They spent a great deal of their time, resources, and player interviews during the offseason turning over every stone among the incoming free agent crop during the draft, up from the early round talents all the way down to the undrafted free agent level pool.
While they were rumored to be interested in Maxx Williams at their spot in the second round, that is neither here nor there at this point. They did come away with the promising Jesse James in the fifth round, who did some good things in the second half of his rookie season last year.
They also came away with Cameron Clear, a player that they actually brought in for a pre-draft visit, and which seemed to raise a couple of eyebrows, as he didn’t seem to necessarily fit the typical Steelers formula, but he was a big-bodied player that they believed they could work with.
A college transfer late in his amateur career, Clear caught just five passes his senior year, and just four years the year before. He was also considered to have some character issues, both on and off the field. At 6’5” and approaching 280 pounds or above, there were reports that he would even be looked at as a tackle, but, of course, the Steelers brought him in as a tight end.
There was some positive buzz about him early in training camp among the coaches, but he suffered an injury, and ultimately had to have a bone spur removed from his knee, landing him waived injured. He reverted to injured reserve, but the team waived him from that list as well after a few weeks.
The Steelers moved on, and appear to be moving on with Xavier Grimble, who spent 2015 on their practice squad. As for Clear, he spent a few days with the Colts in February before he was released. He is waiting to be picked up again for another chance.