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.
Position: Outside Linebacker
Total Positional Figure: 7
T.J. Watt: Coming off of a very promising rookie season, Watt is the Steelers’ hope for the long-term future of the position. He had success in all three phases—rushing, coverage, and run defense—and has the makings of a future leader. But he still needs to take that next step, which he hopefully will prove able to.
Bud Dupree: Dupree gets his third shot now at taking that long-awaited next step, and most have seemed to lose steam, no longer holding out hope that he is capable of developing into a strong full-time starting option. Health has been an issue, but he has mechanical and physical issues that have limited his success as well.
Anthony Chickillo: As for Chickillo, I do believe that we have already seen the best of what he has to offer. It’s been a long time now since he was last a defensive end. He’s a linebacker now, with the physique to match. He just doesn’t have the results when he does get on the field.
Keion Adams: One player people are eager to see get on the field is Adams, last year’s seventh-round draft pick. Other than the ‘unknown’ factor playing to his advantage, he does look to have the bend around the edge that suggests potential for development.
Farrington Huguenin: A college teammate of Dupree’s, Huguenin has been around a bit on the practice squad. He had a moment or two during the preseason last year, but I’m not sure he will develop into roster potential.
Darnell Leslie: Leslie is listed as a defensive end, but there’s no way he actually is based on his listed weight. I’m confident that we will see him working with the linebackers when training camp opens.
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi: The lone pass-rushing addition this offseason, Adeniyi was signed as a college free agent. He is undersized but has some interesting college tape who has the potential to push for a roster spot as a special teamer.
Players Lost: N/A
Notes and Camp Outlook:
The starting spots here are not up for grabs, and Chickillo is probably safe as the rotational third player, but with Arthur Moats and James Harrison gone, there is at least one opening, if not two, for depth. Adams is obviously a favorite, but I like Adeniyi as an option to make a run at the 53 as well.