Steelers Training Camp Recap: Winners & Losers

The last training camp article for 2017. Putting a bow on things with our winners, losers, and grades from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ training camp. We’ll break down our grades, recapping them all for you, with the winners and losers at the bottom.

A Grades (11)

Tyson Alualu: A
Mike Hilton: A
Tyler Matakevich: A
Ben Roethlisberger: A
Alejandro Villanueva: A
Antonio Brown: A-
Artie Burns: A-
James Conner: A-
Ramon Foster: A-
Javon Hargrave: A-
JuJu Smith-Schuster: A-

B Grades (33)

Anthony Chickillo: B+
Knile Davis: B+
David DeCastro: B+
Jacob Hagen: B+
Cam Heyward: B+
Matt Feiler: B+
L.J. Fort: B+
Marcus Gilbert: B+
Eli Rogers: B+
Coty Sensabaugh: B+
Stephon Tuitt: B+
Terrell Watson: B+
T.J. Watt: B+
Jordan Dangerfield: B
Sean Davis: B
Josh Dobbs: B
Greg Ducre: B
Bud Dupree: B
William Gay: B
David Johnson: B
Steven Johnson: B
Jake McGee: B
Arthur Moats: B
Roosevelt Nix: B
Fitzgerald Toussaint: B
L.T. Walton: B
Vince Williams: B
Robert Golden: B-
Chris Hubbard: B-
Farrington Huguenin: B-
Keith Kelsey: B-
Johnny Maxey: B-
Marcus Tucker: B-

C Grades (19)

Brian Allen: C+
Matt Galambos: C+
Malik Golden: C+
Jesse James: C+
JaCorey Shepherd: C+
Ross Cockrell: C
Ethan Cooper: C
Brandon Dixon: C
Xavier Grimble: C
Justin Hunter: C
Cobi Hamilton: C
Landry Jones: C
Roy Philon: C
Jake Rodgers: C
Terrish Webb: C
B.J. Finney: C-
Jerald Hawkins: C-
Lavon Hooks: C-
Brian Mihalik: C-

D And Below Grades (10)

Kyle Friend: D+
Bart Houston: D+
Francis Kallon: D+
Phazahn Odom: D+
Trey Williams: D+
Daniel McCullers: D
Christian Brown: D-
Keavon Milton: D-
Brandon Brown-Dukes: D-
Darrius Heyward-Bey: F

Incomplete Grades (12)

James Harrison: Inc
Keion Adams: Inc
Austin Gearing: Inc
Ryan Shazier: Inc
Cam Sutton: Inc
Senquez Golson: Inc
Mike Mitchell: Inc
Maurkice Pouncey: Inc
Lucas Crowley: Inc
Martavis Bryant: Inc
Sammie Coates: Inc
Demarcus Ayers: Inc


Mike Hilton – Although there is some question about his roster spot now that the Steelers traded for another nickel corner, there’s no denying he had a strong camp. That carried over from a spring where he earned big praise. Carrying confidence to make up for his size, he’s a strong blitzer, apt in run support, and probably led the team in breakups in camp. Didn’t have a bad practice.

Tyler Matakevich – Though his performance against the Atlanta Falcons wasn’t pretty, his camp was really strong and showed why the team ultimately decided to stay the course with Matakevich as the top backup. Play speed makes up for his athleticism and he is quick to diagnose his run keys. Made a couple plays in coverage too.

Artie Burns – This was huge for him. He was the only corner to pose a challenge to Antonio Brown and statistically, he made Brown look human. His run fits improved and he’s an interesting thought as a blitzer, something we’ve seen an increase in. The best corner on the team by far, he’ll probably shadow top receivers all year, as he did AB in camp.

Tyson Alualu – A strong get by Kevin Colbert. Alualu is poised to be the top backup at both defensive end spots, especially now that L.T. Walton has kicked to nose. He’s strong, a power pass rusher, and plays with top effort. The Steelers finally found a quality backup defensive end, allowing them to be comfortable with reducing Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt’s snaps.

Matt Feiler – Feiler impressed all of camp, earning a late “call up” to first team left guard. He’s added weight, country strong, who stays square to the ball and has a nasty demeanor. A better athlete than maybe given credit for; he played tackle at Bloomsburg.


Darrius Heyward-Bey – The no good, very bad camp for DHB. Shoddy quarterback play didn’t help his cause but his 25.7% catch rate was by far the lowest we’ve ever tracked. He may still make this team but not as a wide receiver. Five drops didn’t help his cause either, a regression from last camp (two drops).

Daniel McCullers – Immediately falling out of favor, he ran third team nose tackle all of camp, lapped by Walton, who never looked back. While McCullers did occasionally flash as his size/innate strength will have him do, it’s time to move on. Worthwhile investment, just didn’t pan out.

Xavier Grimble – He is still likely to make the team as the third tight end but the fact that’s a question, when it seemed like a slam dunk before Latrobe, says how shaky his camp was. He struggled to make contested catches or be a threat downfield. It wasn’t terrible but certainly not nearly as good as it should’ve been. Now, some are clamoring for Jake McGee to usurp him.

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