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 second player up in this series is third-year linebacker Jordan Zumwalt.
2015 Season Recap:
2015 was another disappointing year for Zumwalt as injuries suffered during training camp and the preseason once again resulted in him spending a full season on the team’s Reserve/Injured list.
Even though Zumwalt had his moments last year during the preseason, the former sixth-round draft pick out of UCLA suffered a hip injury that was serious enough to warrant surgery. In the two preseason games that he was fortunate to play in last year, Zumwalt registered 6 total tackles in 59 total snaps played. However, he sat out the three remaining preseason games because of injuries.
2016 Training Camp Outlook:
As Zumwalt heads into his third training camp with the Steelers he’ll certainly have plenty of new competition to face for a roster spot. For starters, rookie seventh round draft pick Tyler Matakevich will also be receiving snaps at inside linebacker and on special teams in the coming weeks and he is regarded as a tackling machine. Additionally, experienced players Steven Johnson and L.J. Fort are two other linebackers currently under contract who already have reputations as being good special team contributors.
Zumwalt’s biggest competitor is his own health up until now and he absolutely must not miss any practices or preseason games this time around if he wants to give himself a legitimate shot at making the final 53-man roster this year.
Additionally, Zumwalt’s path to the 53-man roster this summer will all but certainly go through the office of special teams coordinator Danny Smith. If Zumwalt can establish himself as a valuable commodity to Smith in the coming weeks and months, it will certainly help his roster chances. If he can’t, he’ll need to hope the Steelers like him enough to keep him around on the team’s 10-man practice squad.
Vote below and tell us the reason why you voted the way that you did in the comments.