The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Which player that was not on a 53-man roster last season are you most looking forward to seeing this summer?
This is a pretty broad question that covers a variety of players, but I think the one thing that ties all of them together is that there is not a lot that is known about them and what they will produce. A lot of them are longshots to make the team, though there are some openings.
We could talk about the Steelers’ first-round draft pick, Terrell Edmunds, who is among those most likely to be a significant contributor. But we already know it’s a given that he’s going to be on the team and be afforded every opportunity to make an impact. The same with James Washington.
A guy like Mason Rudolph is obviously going to draw a lot of attention. He is being viewed as a potential franchise quarterback. That is huge if he proves to be just that.
But there are so many other players to talk about. What about Jake McGee, or Marcus Tucker, a couple of guys on the practice squad last year that could climb to the next level in 2018? I think there are opportunities that both of them could seize.
Matthew Thomas and Olasunkanmi Adeniyi have gotten the most attention from the Steelers’ class of undrafted free agent signings this year because they are solid prospects who are coming in at positions of need that were not addressed in the draft.
There are a few other names in this category to consider at those spots, such as Matt Galambos, Farrington Huguenin, Keion Adams, and Keith Kelsey. That’s six linebackers that were on the practice squad, injured reserve, or who are coming in this year that will compete for the tail-end roster spots.
Jordan Dangerfield and Dashaun Phillips are two veterans with prior NFL experience that are hoping to re-enter the conversation this year. Dangerfield was on the Steelers’ roster in 2016, and Phillips was on Washington’s.