The Pittsburgh Steelers made seven selections during the 2018 NFL Draft and not a one of them included the team adding another inside or outside linebacker. While it wasn’t totally clear if the Steelers would ultimately select an outside linebacker this year, general manager Kevin Colbert said immediately after the draft was over that they consider the one that they picked last year in the seventh-round as a drafted player again this year.
“When we look at the outside linebacker, you know Keion Adams was a kid we took last year in the seventh-round had a real good early start in the training camp. And we were excited about where he was going to be able to go, but unfortunately had a shoulder injury that required surgery and you know, he didn’t get to play,” Colbert told the media Saturday night. “But you always had him in the bank and I mean he’s really another seventh-round pick in our eyes for this season.”
Adams, who played his college football at Western Michigan, had his rookie season wiped out by a shoulder injury and that was after he had reportedly impressed the coaches during the team’s OTA sessions. Even so, Adams hasn’t even played in a preseason game yet and he only made it through seven training camp practices before suffering his shoulder injury.
On the surface, and thanks mainly to the Steelers not drafting another outside linebacker this year, Adams’ path to the final 53-man roster appears to be unobstructed as April comes to a close. In fact, his only legitimate competition on the 90 man-roster as of Sunday evening appears to be Farrington Huguenin, a former 2016 undrafted free agent who spent all of the 2017 season on the Steelers practice squad. Other than Huguenin, the Steelers now have rookie Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, who they just signed as an undrafted free agent, on their roster.
Ahead of Adams on the outside linebacker depth chart obviously sits the two starters, Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt, with Anthony Chickillo backing up both players. Will the Steelers look to add another more experienced outside linebacker into the mix by the time training camp gets underway? Its possible, but there certainly aren’t too many attractive options currently looking for work just the same.
“So, we’ll see where he goes,” Colbert said. “Of course we got the two starters and Anthony Chickillo we think took a step last year and then we’ll see where Keion goes. And we’re going to add some free agent type people into it and see where it goes. But really, we consider Keion like a seventh-round pick this year.”