The last time that we took a look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster in review, it was weeks before the 2018 NFL Draft took place. It would be safe to say that quite a bit has changed since then, and the changes apply to almost every position on the roster, some major changes, some minor.
We are closing in on the opening of the Steelers’ several weeks of training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, however, so it would be a good time to pause and take stock of where the team stands at each position as we head into the most critical process of the offseason.
Total Positional Figure: 9
Joe Haden: Haden has the potential to be the biggest addition the Steelers have made in some time. based simple on talent, he is probably the most skilled cornerback that they have had on the roster since Rod Woodson. Now with a full offseason, and his health intact, it’s time to make good on his potential.
Artie Burns: Speaking of potential, it’s time for Burns as well to convert more of that into production. He makes plays, but gives them up as well. Physically, there is no reason for him to be limited as a tackler or a coverage player.
Mike Hilton: A real diamond in the rough last season, Hilton came not quite out of nowhere, but was a surprise addition to the starting lineup, solidifying himself as a complete player from the slot. His size will limit him, but his heart will not.
Cameron Sutton: Sutton is just looking for playing time, lining up anywhere the coaches will let him. He should have a role in the dime defense this season, which the Steelers will probably try to use more frequently this season. Even in a seven-defensive back package.
Brian Allen: A second-year player still in the process of learning the position, Allen is very gifted physically, but the question is if he can put it all together to play cornerback—or even safety. Just getting on the field at all on defense this year would be a major progression.
Coty Sensabaugh: It’s hard to see Sensabaugh as anything but on his way out. He was seemingly passed on the depth chart by both rookies by the end of last season. While he isn’t making a lot, it’s more than veteran-minimum. He struggled a lot when he did get on the field.
Dashaun Phillips: Often the forgotten man in this discussion, Phillips spent last season on the practice squad but has in-game experience in the slot and on special teams with Washington.
Jamar Summers: Not big, not tall, not fast, not very flexible. The college free agent is somebody who might do better at the back end thanks to his intelligence, where his physical limitations may be less exposed.
Trey Johnson: Johnson, on the other hand, is a very good athlete with average height, yet he does have experience at safety as well. Another undrafted player, he will likely be competing for a practice squad spot.
Players Lost: N/A
Notes and Camp Outlook:
While I don’t see any starting jobs up for grabs, the cornerback position should still be a fascinating one to watch. Will Haden look more comfortable in his second season here? Will Burns step up his game? The biggest question is whether or not Sutton can force his way onto the field. I also want to follow up on Allen’s progression and if he appears to be a potential defensive player.