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 fifth player up in this series is linebacker Anthony Chickillo.
2015 Season Recap:
After being drafted by the Steelers in the sixth-round of last year’s NFL draft, Chickillo ultimately failed to make the team’s initial 53-man roster out of training camp as he was waived during the final round of cuts just prior to the start of the regular season. The Miami product, however, was signed to the team’s 10-man practice squad and that’s where he remained for the first three games of the 2015 season.
Chickillo was ultimately signed to the Steelers 53-man roster from the practice squad ahead of the team’s Week 4 game against the Baltimore Ravens. After being inactive for that game and the following one, he dressed for the first time in Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals but only saw action on special teams in that game.
While Chickillo ultimately dressed for several more games as the season progressed, he was mostly used sparingly on special teams and logged only 22 defensive snaps which all came in the Week 10 game against the Cleveland Browns. Chickillo finished his rookie season with 6 total tackles on special teams in addition to one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
2016 Training Camp Outlook:
With training camp set to begin, it’s easy to speculate that Chickillo is currently the fifth outside linebacker on the Steelers depth chart behind James Harrison, Bud Dupree, Arthur Moats and Jarvis Jones. In other words, the second-year player will need to prove himself on special teams once again in order to make the final 53-man roster out of training camp.
The Steelers drafted outside linebacker Travis Feeney this year in the sixth-round out of Washington in addition to inside linebacker Tyler Matakevich in the seventh-round out of Temple and both players could ultimately wind up being Chickillo’s biggest competition for a roster spot this summer. If the Steelers are dead set on keeping five total outside linebackers, Chickillo will certainly have the upper hand. However, if special teams play trumps positional group numbers, the Miami product is far from being considered a roster lock.
Vote below and tell us the reason why you voted the way that you did in the comments.