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History Of Steelers Draft Picks Under Colbert To Make Initial 53-Man Roster, Practice Squad

With two preseason games now remaining on their 2018 preseason schedule, the Pittsburgh Steelers presumably still have several players battling for spots on this years 53-man roster and that includes several of this year’s draft picks. Using Steelers history as a guide, its almost certain that not all of this years seven draft picks will ultimately make the final cut. In fact, you could argue right now that three of this year’s draft picks, running back Jaylen Samuels, safety Marcus Allen and defensive tackle Joshua Frazier, might not be on the team’s 53-man roster when the regular season gets underway.

While we wait to see which of this year’s draft picks ultimately fail to make the Steelers initial 53-man roster, the team does have a long history of signing many of their draft picks immediately to the team’s practice squad after placing them on waivers and them clearing.

Below is table of all of the draft selections the Steelers have made dating back to 2000, which was the first year in Pittsburgh for general manager Kevin Colbert. The first column indicates if the player was on the team’s Week 1 53-man roster, Reserve/Inured or Reserve/PUP list. The second column indicates if the player was immediately signed to the Steelers practice squad following him clearing waivers.

As the table of data shows below, 36 (24.8%) of the Steelers 145 total draft picks from 2000-2017 ultimately failed to make the team’s Week 1 53-man roster. However, 21 of those 36 players were immediately signed to the Steelers practice squad after clearing waivers. Of the 15 players who didn’t get immediately signed to the Steelers practice squad for Week 1, five of them, Ra’Shon Harris (Carolina Panthers), Nathaniel Adibi (Tennessee Titans), LaVar Glover (Cincinnati Bengals), Danny Farmer (Cincinnati Bengals) and Jason Gavadza (Tennessee Titans) were all claimed off waivers by other teams.

It’s worth pointing out that while Doug Worthington was initially signed to the Steelers practice squad following his waiving, he technically didn’t make to Week 1 as the Steelers released him just a few days later to make room for Al Woods.

It’s probably worth pointing out that of the 24 players drafted in the fifth-round by the Steelers since 2000 only six (25%) of them ultimately failed to make the final cut. However, of the 23 players drafted by the Steelers in the seventh-round, only six (26.1%) of them were ultimately kept on the original 53-man roster with three others being placed on the Reserve/Injured to start the regular season.

Year Rnd Player Pick Pos Week 1 53 Week 1 PS
2017 1 T.J. Watt 30 OLB YES
2017 2 JuJu Smith-Schuster 62 WR YES
2017 3 Cameron Sutton 94 CB IR
2017 3 James Conner 105 RB YES
2017 4 Joshua Dobbs 135 QB YES
2017 5 Brian Allen 173 CB YES
2017 6 Colin Holba 213 LS NO NO
2017 7 Keion Adams 248 OLB IR
2016 1 Artie Burns 25 CB YES
2016 2 Sean Davis 58 CB YES
2016 3 Javon Hargrave 89 DT YES
2016 4 Jerald Hawkins 123 T IR
2016 6 Travis Feeney 220 OLB NO YES
2016 7 Demarcus Ayers 229 WR NO YES
2016 7 Tyler Matakevich 246 OLB YES
2015 1 Bud Dupree 22 OLB YES
2015 2 Senquez Golson 56 CB IR
2015 3 Sammie Coates 87 WR YES
2015 4 Doran Grant 121 CB NO YES
2015 5 Jesse James 160 TE YES
2015 6 Leterrius Walton 199 DT YES
2015 6 Anthony Chickillo 212 DE NO YES
2015 7 Gerod Holliman 239 S NO NO
2014 1 Ryan Shazier 15 LB YES
2014 2 Stephon Tuitt 46 DE YES
2014 3 Dri Archer 97 WR YES
2014 4 Martavis Bryant 118 WR YES
2014 5 Shaquille Richardson 157 DB NO YES
2014 5 Wesley Johnson 173 OL YES
2014 6 Jordan Zumwalt 192 LB IR
2014 6 Daniel McCullers 215 DT YES
2014 7 Rob Blanchflower 230 TE NO YES
2013 1 Jarvis Jones 17 LB YES
2013 2 Le’Veon Bell 48 RB YES
2013 3 Markus Wheaton 79 WR YES
2013 4 Shamarko Thomas 111 DB YES
2013 4 Landry Jones 115 QB YES
2013 5 Terry Hawthorne 150 DB NO NO
2013 6 Justin Brown 186 WR NO YES
2013 6 Vince Williams 206 LB YES
2013 7 Nicholas Williams 223 DT IR
2012 1 David DeCastro 24 G YES
2012 2 Mike Adams 56 T YES
2012 3 Sean Spence 86 LB IR
2012 4 Alameda Ta’amu 109 DT YES
2012 5 Chris Rainey 159 RB YES
2012 7 Toney Clemons 231 WR NO YES
2012 7 David Paulson 240 TE YES
2012 7 Terrence Frederick 246 CB NO NO
2012 7 Kelvin Beachum 248 T YES
2011 1 Cameron Heyward 31 DE YES
2011 2 Marcus Gilbert 63 T YES
2011 3 Curtis Brown 95 CB YES
2011 4 Cortez Allen 128 CB YES
2011 5 Chris Carter 162 OLB YES
2011 6 Keith Williams 196 G NO NO
2011 7 Baron Batch 232 RB IR
2010 1 Maurkice Pouncey 18 C YES
2010 2 Jason Worilds 52 OLB YES
2010 3 Emmanuel Sanders 82 WR YES
2010 4 Thaddeus Gibson 116 OLB YES
2010 5 Chris Scott 151 G PUP
2010 5 Crezdon Butler 164 CB YES
2010 5 Stevenson Sylvester 166 ILB YES
2010 6 Jonathan Dwyer 188 RB YES
2010 6 Antonio Brown 195 WR YES
2010 7 Doug Worthington 242 DT NO YES
2009 1 Evander Hood 32 DE YES
2009 3 Kraig Urbik 79 T YES
2009 3 Mike Wallace 84 WR YES
2009 3 Keenan Lewis 96 CB YES
2009 5 Joe Burnett 168 CB YES
2009 5 Frank Summers 169 RB YES
2009 6 Ra’Shon Harris 205 DT NO NO*
2009 7 A.Q. Shipley 226 C NO YES
2009 7 David Johnson 241 TE YES
2008 1 Rashard Mendenhall 23 RB YES
2008 2 Limas Sweed 53 WR YES
2008 3 Bruce Davis 88 LB YES
2008 4 Tony Hills 130 T YES
2008 5 Dennis Dixon 156 QB YES
2008 6 Mike Humpal 188 LB IR
2008 6 Ryan Mundy 194 S NO YES
2007 1 Lawrence Timmons 15 LB YES
2007 2 LaMarr Woodley 46 DE YES
2007 3 Matt Spaeth 77 TE YES
2007 4 Daniel Sepulveda 112 P YES
2007 4 Ryan McBean 132 DT NO YES
2007 5 Cameron Stephenson 156 G NO NO
2007 5 William Gay 170 CB YES
2007 7 Dallas Baker 227 WR NO YES
2006 1 Santonio Holmes 25 WR YES
2006 3 Anthony Smith 83 S YES
2006 3 Willie Reid 95 WR YES
2006 4 Willie Colon 131 G YES
2006 4 Orien Harris 133 DT NO YES
2006 5 Omar Jacobs 164 QB NO YES
2006 5 Charles Davis 167 TE NO NO
2006 6 Marvin Philip 201 C YES
2006 7 Cedric Humes 240 RB NO YES
2005 1 Heath Miller 30 TE YES
2005 2 Bryant McFadden 62 CB YES
2005 3 Trai Essex 93 T YES
2005 4 Fred Gibson 131 WR NO NO
2005 5 Rian Wallace 166 LB YES
2005 6 Chris Kemoeatu 204 G YES
2005 7 Shaun Nua 228 DE NO YES
2005 7 Noah Herron 244 RB YES
2004 1 Ben Roethlisberger 11 QB YES
2004 2 Ricardo Colclough 38 CB YES
2004 3 Max Starks 75 T YES
2004 5 Nathaniel Adibi 145 DE NO NO*
2004 6 Bo Lacy 177 T NO YES
2004 6 Matt Kranchick 194 TE YES
2004 6 Drew Caylor 197 C NO YES
2004 7 Eric Taylor 212 DT NO YES
2003 1 Troy Polamalu 16 S YES
2003 2 Alonzo Jackson 59 OLB YES
2003 4 Ike Taylor 125 CB YES
2003 5 Brian St. Pierre 163 QB YES
2003 7 J.T. Wall 242 FB NO YES
2002 1 Kendall Simmons 30 G YES
2002 2 Antwaan Randle El 62 WR YES
2002 3 Chris Hope 94 S YES
2002 4 Larry Foote 128 ILB YES
2002 5 Verron Haynes 166 RB YES
2002 6 Lee Mays 202 WR YES
2002 7 LaVar Glover 212 CB NO NO*
2002 7 Brett Keisel 242 DE YES
2001 1 Casey Hampton 19 NT YES
2001 2 Kendrell Bell 39 ILB YES
2001 4 Mathias Nkwenti 111 T YES
2001 5 Chukky Okobi 146 C YES
2001 6 Rodney Bailey 181 DE YES
2001 6 Roger Knight 182 LB NO NO
2001 7 Chris Taylor 218 WR NO NO
2000 1 Plaxico Burress 8 WR YES
2000 2 Marvel Smith 38 T YES
2000 3 Kendrick Clancy 72 DT YES
2000 3 Hank Poteat 77 CB YES
2000 4 Danny Farmer 103 WR NO NO*
2000 5 Clark Haggans 137 LB YES
2000 5 Tee Martin 163 QB YES
2000 6 Chris Combs 173 DE YES
2000 6 Jason Gavadza 204 TE NO NO*
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