The 2018 NFL Draft is drawing near, which seems to be a fitting time to take a look back at the rookie seasons of the Pittsburgh Steelers class from the 2017 NFL Draft. People start talking about the quality of a draft class before said class is even completed, of course, but now we have a year of data to work form.
Over the course of the next several days, I will be providing an overview of the team’s rookies, as well as an evaluation of each rookie that the Steelers drafted, while also noting any undrafted free agents that were able to stick around. This will not include the likes of Mike Hilton and Kameron Canaday because they were first-year players, not rookies.
The Steelers went into the 2017 NFL Draft with eight selections, including one in each round at their natural selections, as well as an additional pick in the third round as compensation for the net losses that they were dealt in free agency from the 2016 offseason.
Continuing a recent trend, the class has proven to be top-heavy in terms of early results, though there are still opportunities for those selected by them in the later rounds of the draft to develop into bigger contributors as well.
Player: Matt Galambos
Draft Status: Undrafted
There are a few rookie undrafted free agents remaining that I want to talk about, and they are worth noting because they are still on the roster. Of the three players remaining to discuss, though, none of them were actually a part of the Steelers’ initial wave of undrafted free agent signings.
The first signed of that secondary wave of players, though, was Pittsburgh’s Matt Galambos, who was brought in a couple of weeks after the draft had already ended. There was no injury at the position or anything. They just wanted to bring him in. He replaced cornerback Devonte Johnson on the 90-man roster.
Bearing a lot of similarities to another rookie undrafted free agent inside linebacker that we just talked about in Keith Kelsey, Galambos is regarding more as a two-down player, which is a linebacker type that the Steelers seem to be accumulating.
He was pretty productive in his college ball, recording nearly 300 tackles and five and a half sacks with three interceptions and two forced fumbles. His best season came in 2015, recording 88 tackles, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles.
Galambos got on the field for all four preseason games for the Steelers, though not always receiving a lot of playing time. He picked up nine tackles to go along with an interception and a pass defensed, which was enough to earn him a spot on the practice squad.
He suffered an injury during the year, however, and was moved to the practice squad injured reserve list, his spot being taken subsequently by Kelsey. Both were re-signed after the season to Reserve/Future contracts and will compete against one another this offseason.