The offseason is over. Football is back. The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in Latrobe at Saint Vincent College and training camp is underway. As we are every year, we will be right there providing live feedback and updates, and will be supplementing ourselves throughout the day, every day.
The Steelers are coming off a frustrating season to say the least, posting a 13-3 record with a first-round bye only to be dumped in the Divisional Round by a team that beat them twice, even though they hadn’t even been to the playoffs in a decade.
They’ve added the ingredients that they think they need to fix what ails them, adding new players and coaches, while getting rid of others. Now is when they start mixing up those ingredients and trying to create something powerful.
We still have a lot of questions about this team, and we’ll be monitoring the practices and preseason games looking for answers. As we always do.
Question: As we sit here today, which rookie draft pick is the most likely to miss the 53-man roster?
Let’s just get things started by pointing out that there is virtually no way outside of an unforeseen circumstance that any of the Steelers’ top four draft picks are going to miss the 53-man roster. Terrell Edmunds is going to have a role on defense, James Washington is going to be the number three receiver. Mason Rudolph is being groomed for the future, while Chukwuma Okorafor looks likely to be the swing tackle.
The other three draft picks? Their position on the eventual 53-man roster looks anything but secure right now, though it’s still quite possible that they all make it. I wrote a couple of months back that this group looked to be more than most we’ve had to be a class that has a chance of making it down to the last man, but at least in Pittsburgh, this basically never happens.
Right now, we’re talking about fifth-round picks Marcus Allen at safety and running back Jaylen Samuels, in addition to seventh-round nose tackle Joshua Frazier. None of these players really seem to be inside the roster bubble right now, if we’re being honest.
Speaking of Allen in particular, he doesn’t appear to be being given any opportunities that Nat Berhe, Jordan Dangerfield, and Malik Golden are not. Frazier is also playing behind Daniel McCullers, Greg Gilmore, and Lavon Hooks. Samuels has taken a couple of snaps with the first-team group while aligned outside, but generally has been behind Stevan Ridley and even Fitzgerald Toussaint.
Of the three, Allen stands the best chance of being a meaningful contributor on special teams, and Frazier the least. With McCullers seemingly making a concerted push that the coaches are noticing, he may well be pushed right onto the practice squad.