The calendar has now flipped over to July and that means the Pittsburgh Steelers annual training camp will be getting underway in Latrobe later this month. As usual, we have several series planned to get you ready for this year’s training camp and mine will center around preview profiles of 50 players over the course of the next 25 days. Most of these profiles will be on players who were under contract with the team in 2016.
Up twenty-seventh in this series is a 2017 preview profile of wide receiver Cobi Hamilton.
Intro: At this same time last year, Hamilton wast even on the Steelers roster. He made one hell of climb from there as he wound up on the Steelers 53-man unit come Week 6 of the regular season after first spending time on the team’s practice squad. He then proceeded to dress for all games moving forward and ended the regular season with 17 receptions for 234 yards and two touchdowns. He added another four receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown during the playoffs.
Current Strengths: Hamilton’s best trait is that he is a physical wide receiver and we saw him make several contested catches during the 2016 regular season with a few coming on third downs. He’s a willing blocker to boot. While not overly fast, he showed a knack to separate last second on a few deep receptions in 2016 and especially in the end zone. Those few catches required some good body control.
Current Weaknesses: Hamilton is not a twitchy wide receiver off the line and he lacks straight-line speed. He struggles to get on top of cornerbacks more times than not. His total route running and overall ability to sink his hips to get in and out of breaks effectively and consistently is also lacking.
2017 Outlook: If Hamilton can somehow beat the odds again and wind up making the 53-man roster in 2017, he’ll be a depth chart wide receiver and special teams contributor. That’s not guaranteed to happen, however, with the return of fellow wide receiver Martavis Bryant and the Steelers drafting of wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. Assuming he’s eligible, Hamilton might could open the 2017 season on the Steelers practice squad again if not signed by another team.
2017 Base Salary: $540,000
2017 Salary Cap Charge: $540,000
2017 Health Status: No known ailments exiting offseason program
2016 Health Status: Zero games missed last season due to injury
2016 Regular Season Snaps Played: 384 of 1,083
2016 Stat That Matters: 10 of 17 receptions and 90.9% catch rate on third downs