Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was a guest Tuesday afternoon on the ‘Fantasy Alarm Show’ on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and when asked to identify a few sleepers for the 2018 season currently on the 90-man roster, he not surprisingly named two of this year’s rookie undrafted free agents, wide receiver Damoun Patterson and outside linebacker Olasunkanmi Adeniyi.
“There’s been some kids that have done some things, Damoun Patterson the wide receiver and Ola [Adeniyi], our outside linebacker from the University of Toledo,” Colbert said. “They’ve shown some flashes in preseason work and the challenge for those guys is to show that consistency in their production and prove that they deserve roster spots. And again, flashes are one thing, consistency is something that will get them both those full time opportunities. So, we’re still looking for more. The sleepers usually force their way onto your team just through that consistent play. So, hopefully those guys can continue that and they make those decisions easy for you because they make it obvious.”
After catching 6 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, Patterson, who was originally signed to a contract after taking part in the team’s annual rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, registered 3 more receptions 35 yards in the team’s second preseason game against the Green Bay Packers this past Thursday. Patterson, who played his final two years of college football at Youngstown State, has also registered one assisted tackle on special teams in the 16 total snaps he’s played so far in that phase of the game.
While Patterson isn’t likely to play a lot in the first half of the Steelers third preseason game this coming Saturday against the Tennessee Titans, he figures to get a lot of offensive snaps in the second half of that contest both on offense and on special teams. If he has a good showing in the Steelers final two preseason games, he’ll be hard to cut at that point.
As for Adeniyi, he’s played quite extensively on defense and special teams in the Steelers first two preseason games and that’s more than likely due to injuries at the position. Like Colbert stated during his Tuesday interview, the Toledo product has flashed some in both preseason games and he enters the team’s third contest having already registered 4 total tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Like Patterson, he figures to get quite a bit playing time Saturday against the Titans and it’s important that he continues to play well not only in that contest, but in the finale against the Carolina Panthers well.
The fact that Colbert mentioned both Patterson and Adeniyi by name on Tuesday speaks volumes when it comes them both possibly making the 53-man roster this year. Even so, neither should be considered locks at this point just the same. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin probably summed it up best following the team’s Sunday night practice at Heinz Field when it comes to roster hopefuls entering their third preseason game.
“The process is running its course, the sands are running through the hourglass,” Tomlin said. “Guys who are going to make a move and state a case for themselves, they better get busy, if they haven’t already. I think that adds to the excitement of this performance.”