I have over the course of the past several seasons turned to a series of articles around this time of year in which I looked to explore the issues and questions facing the Pittsburgh Steelers during the upcoming season and trying to identify the range of possibilities in which any given scenario can end.
I started out with a dual series called The Optimist’s/Pessimist’s Take and switched last season to the Devil’s Advocate series. In an attempt to find a more streamlined solution with a title more suited to the actual endeavor, we are introducing a simple Buy Or Sell segment exploring whether the position statement is likely to be worth investing in as an idea.
The range of topics will be wide, from the specific to the general, exploring broad long-term possibilities to the immediate future of particular players. I will make an argument for why a concept should be bought into as well as one that can be sold, and you can share your thoughts on which is the more compelling case while offering your own.
Topic Statement: Every rookie draft pick will be on the 53-man roster if they are healthy in 2018.
There are good intentions every year by every team for every player that they draft to make their squad. There’s no sense in drafting a player that you don’t think has a chance of making your team, after all. But it’s very rare that we actually see this happen, for all draft picks to make the 53-man roster.
This year looks different. All seven of the Steelers’ draft picks look to have a very solid chance of making the team. Even their seventh-round pick, Joshua Frazier, gets to compete for a roster spot against a guy who has been on the chopping block for years. And they just hired his former position coach.
Marcus Allen could be a little dicey, but the team obviously likes him, and they seem to want to go high on safeties this year. As long as he plays on special teams, he should make the roster. Jaylen Samuels versatile skill set also makes him a pretty good bed. Running backs they draft don’t often miss the roster barring injuries, as well. Even when they drafted Jonathan Dwyer, they were frustrated with his weight struggled but still kept him as a fourth running back.
Truth be told, I gave up trying to find the last time that every draft pick the Steelers made in any given year made the 53-man roster or was on injured reserve as I got into the 1990s. The bottom line is that, if it ever happened, it hasn’t been recent. It doesn’t appear to have ever happened under either Mike Tomlin or Bill Cowher.
So that’s some pretty good perspective there. It just very rarely happens. It DOES absolutely happen, on other teams, particularly those in a rebuilding process, as the Cleveland Browns always are, for example. I believe they recently had an entire 12-man draft class make the team or something like that.
But there are too many variables. This looks like a draft class more likely than most for this to happen, but we thought that last year too, then Colin Holba didn’t make the team.