The Perspective Of An Average Steelers Fan: Choice Of Weapons

The draft is over. Eight new football players who potentially will be on the Pittsburgh Steelers 53-man roster this coming season were selected. Nine more undrafted free agents were signed. Also, Martavis Bryant was conditionally reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. With the release of Zach Mettenberger on Monday and four more players on Tuesday; the Steelers roster now has 92 players listed. There will, of course, be many more changes to this roster before the preseason even starts but the bulk of the Steelers opening day roster are already on this list. These are the Steelers weapons of choice for the upcoming campaign.

The eventual 90 players will be raw material that will be forged into a single unit. You need to have some good material to start else-wise the final product can never be refined to that hard edge needed to withstand a long season of up to twenty-four games if you count the preseason. They will be heated up in the training camp; red hot to transform the raw material into something that can turn hard. At Latrobe, they will be pounded in the heat so that a mass of players starts to take shape as a squad. Then quenched during the preseason games to have the club hard and ready. The final grind wheel sweeps away the excess material until you have a final product ready to be tested during the 16 game regular season.

This list is missing some names from last year. Former Cleveland Brown’s first rounder Justin Gilbert has not found a new home since the Steelers released him. Ryan Harris who appeared in 5 games before hurting his knee decided to retire. A first rounder of our own that was not extended, Jarvis Jones, is now at Steelers West Cardinals. The last news about Ricardo Mathews was against Cleveland in January when he left the game with an injured ankle. Shamarko Thomas does not appear on the roster and is now a free agent. Miami Dolphin fans will get a chance to see Lawrence Timmons perform an encore of his puking on the field. Amateur proctologist Cody Wallace is still on the market as is DeAngelo Williams. Meanwhile in Chicago, Markus Wheaton may be catching balls thrown by surprise # 2 overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky. I appreciate all of them but will especially miss Timmons. Loved D-Will’s work ethic but Father Time may have caught up to him. The shoulder injury plagued Wheaton’s season and prevented him from performing to his potential.

As for the newcomers. I will have to wait for training camp to see about the undrafted free agents. Above average Steelers fans already have a bead on which, if any, have a shot at making the roster but not me. Before the draft, I opined that the Steelers were “perhaps … targeting T.J. Watt at # 30 but if the other teams picking ahead of them ignore a player they have higher on a hypothetical list where the Steelers value safety Jabrill Peppers or tight end David Njoku more than Watt – then guess what? All bets are off as their pick will change just like that.” The Browns scouting staff must have a premium subscription to Steelers Depot. With their draft day trades; Peppers was the 25th selection and Njoku the 29th.

My mock draft was … average. Just like the average Steelers fan not even one of my picks ended up with the Steelers:  LSU cornerback Tre’Davious White; was the 5th cornerback to go in the 1st round but did not make it to #30. The Buffalo Bills picked him up at #27. I did correctly predict the Steelers selecting a wide receiver in round two but they went with JuJu Smith-Schuster instead of Chris Godwin who was still on the board. Minnesota’s Jalen Myrick lasted until the 7th round when the Jacksonville Jaguars got him. Pittsburgh saw cornerback Cameron Sutton having more value. Pittsburgh took a running back in the 3rd which I had also predicted Pittsburgh doing with their compensatory pick. But again wrong player. I thought Samaje Perine would fall into their lap. Instead Pittsburgh took James Conner while Perine went to the Washington Redskins in the 4th round. Will be fun to see who has the better career.

Picking Joshua Dobbs in the 4th round really threw me. I just did not expect them to go for a quarterback this year when the crop next year is supposed to be so abundant. Of course my prognostication of outside linebacker, Vince “who” Biegel was way off. In round five, was close. The Steelers pick defensive back Brian Allen while I thought it would be Miami safety Rayshawn Jenkins but the San Diego Chargers grabbed him in the 4th. Round six is where the Steelers played a joke on Steelers Nation: long snapper Colin Holba. Really? But maybe the vision of James Harrison snapping the ball out of the end zone is burned in Kevin Colbert’s & Mike Tomlin’s memory banks. Greg Warren can’t go on forever. Maybe they will see if Holba can dislodge him. Another contest to watch in Latrobe.  Finally, the last round and OLB Keion Adams. I also had a linebacker but it was Cincinnati linebacker Eric Wilson who went undrafted.

Well there you have it. Pittsburgh has made their choices. Were they the right ones? You can ponder that while you listen to a little Fatboy Slim, as opposed to Root Boy Slim (RIP). It’s of course, Weapon of Choice

Here is the current Steelers roster as of May 2, 2017.

Adams, Keion LB R Western Michigan
Adams, Nelson DT R Mississippi State
Allen, Brian CB R Utah
Alualu, Tyson DE 7 California
Ayers, Demarcus WR 1 Houston
Bell, Le’Veon RB 5 Michigan State
Berry, Jordan P 3 Eastern Kentucky
Blount, Akil LB 0 Florida A&M
Boswell, Chris K 3 Rice
Brown, Antonio WR 8 Central Michigan
Brown, Christian DT R West Virginia
Bryant, Martavis WR 3 Clemson
Burns, Artie CB 2 Miami (FL)
Canaday, Kameron LS 0 Portland State
Chickillo, Anthony LB 3 Miami (FL)
Coates, Sammie WR 3 Auburn
Cockrell, Ross CB 4 Duke
Conner, James RB R Pittsburgh
Cooper, Ethan OG R Indiana (Pa.)
Dangerfield, Jordan S 2 Towson
Davis, Knile RB 4 Arkansas
Davis, Sean S 2 Maryland
DeCastro, David G 6 Stanford
Dixon, Brandon CB 2 Northwest Missouri State
Dobbs, Joshua QB R Tennessee
Ducre, Greg CB 3 Washington
Dupree, Bud LB 3 Kentucky
Feiler, Matt OL 1 Bloomsburg (PA)
Finney, B.J. C/G 2 Kansas State
Fort, L.J. LB 3 Northern Iowa
Foster, Ramon G 9 Tennessee
Friend, Kyle OL 0 Temple
Gay, William CB 11 Louisville
Gilbert, Marcus OT 7 Florida
Golden, Robert S 6 Arizona
Golson, Senquez CB 3 Mississippi
Green, Ladarius TE 6 Louisiana-Lafayette
Grimble, Xavier TE 2 USC
Hagen, Jacob S 1 Liberty
Hamilton, Cobi WR 2 Arkansas
Hargrave, Javon DT 2 South Carolina State
Harrison, James LB 15 Kent State
Hawkins, Jerald OT 2 LSU
Heyward-Bey, Darrius WR 9 Maryland
Heyward, Cameron DE 7 Ohio State
Hilton, Mike CB 1 Mississippi
Holba, Colin LS R Louisville
Hooks, Lavon DT 1 Mississippi
Hubbard, Chris C/G 4 UAB
Hughes, AJ P 0 Virginia Tech
Huguenin, Farrington LB 1 Kentucky
Hunter, Justin WR 4 Tennessee
James, Jesse TE 3 Penn State
Johnson, David TE 9 Arkansas State
Johnson, Devonte CB 0 Weber State
Johnson, Steven LB 6 Kansas
Jones, Landry QB 5 Oklahoma
Kallon, Francis DE R Georgia Tech
Kelsey, Keith LB R Louisville
Malleck, Ryan TE 0 Virginia Tech
Matakevich, Tyler LB 2 Temple
Matthews, Mike OL 0 Texas A&M
Maxey, Johnny DE 1 Mars Hill
McCullers, Daniel DT 4 Tennessee
Mihalik, Brian OT 2 Boston College
Milton, Keavon OL 2 Louisiana-Monroe
Mitchell, Mike S 10 Ohio
Moats, Arthur LB 8 James Madison
Nix, Roosevelt FB 3 Kent State
Orndoff, Scott TE R Pittsburgh
Philon, Roy DT 1 Louisville
Pouncey, Maurkice C 8 Florida
Roethlisberger, Ben QB 14 Miami (Ohio)
Rogers, Eli WR 3 Louisville
Schuessler, Nick QB R Clemson
Sensabaugh, Coty CB 5 Clemson
Shazier, Ryan LB 4 Ohio State
Shell, Rushel RB R West Virginia
Smith-Schuster, JuJu WR R USC
Smith, Dreamius RB 1 West Virginia
Stewart, Dez WR 1 Ohio Dominican
Sutton, Cameron CB R Tennessee
Toussaint, Fitzgerald RB 4 Michigan
Tucker, Marcus WR 1 Northern Michigan
Tuitt, Stephon DE 4 Notre Dame
Villanueva, Alejandro OT 3 Army
Walton, L.T. DE 3 Central Michigan
Warren, Greg LS 13 North Carolina
Watt, T.J. LB R Wisconsin
Webb, Terrish DB R Pittsburgh
Williams, Trey RB 2 Texas A&M
Williams, Vince LB 5 Florida State
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