The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t begin training camp for a few more weeks, so, like last year at this same time, I thought we would spend the next week or so talking about a few players that many believe will have a decent shot at making the 2016 final 53-man roster. Basically, these are players that we can’t quite consider locks, but do consider as being on the bubble ahead of the team reporting to Latrobe.
After reading the recap of the player that we highlight, you can cast your vote as to whether or not you think that player will make the final 53-man roster. Each poll will run for three days.
The sixth player up in this series is defensive end L.T. Walton.
2015 Season Recap:
After being drafted by the Steelers in the sixth-round of last year’s NFL draft, Walton ultimately made the team’s initial 53-man roster out of training camp. While the Central Michigan product did wind up dressing for 7 games before the team’s Week 11 bye, he was mostly only used sparingly on special teams and only played a total of 29 defensive snaps during his rookie season.
As one would likely expect, most of the 29 meaningful snaps that Walton played during his rookie season were not pretty. Most noticeably, the five that he had in the Week 7 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. When Walton was on the field last season, opponents average 5.83 yards per rush.
Walton was inactive for the Steelers final 6 regular season games of the 2015 season in addition to both playoff contests.
2016 Training Camp Outlook:
Now that the Steelers have decided to move on from defensive linemen Steve McLendon and Cam Thomas, the team will certainly need a few different faces to replace them. They drafted defensive tackle Javon Hargrave in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, so he’s a lock to fill one of those two spots and the same likely goes for veteran Ricardo Mathews, who the team signed as a free agent during the offseason.
Walton, as of right now, figures to have the inside track on what figures to be the sixth and final defensive lineman spot on this year’s 53-man roster. However, he’ll have to fight off plenty of competition during training camp with his biggest competitor likely to be fellow defensive end Caushaud Lyons. While Lyons made the 53-man roster last year along with Walton, he was quickly shuffled down to the team’s practice squad during the first quarter of the regular season.
In addition to having to beat out Lyons this summer, Walton will have several young undrafted free agents gunning for his roster spot as well. Johnny Maxey and Giorgio Newberry lead that list of players and both will be fun to watch during the early preseason games.
Even though Walton is a former draft pick, he shouldn’t be considered a lock to make this year’s 53-man roster as we sit here in late July. Barring injuries, it appears as though there’s just one defensive line spot up for grabs entering training camp. Will Walton get it?
Vote below and tell us the reason why you voted the way that you did in the comments.
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