2019 Pre-Training Camp Roster Review: Safety

The last time that we took a look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster in review, it was weeks before the 2019 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 since the build-up to the draft as we head into the most critical process of the offseason.

Position: Safety

Total Positional Figure: 6

Additions: 2

Deletions: 3

Players Retained:

Sean Davis: Entering the final year of his rookie contract, it’s not clear what the future holds for Davis. We do know that he is stabilizing in his role, going into his second year both at free safety and in working with Edmunds. We’ll see what that means for his play.

Terrell Edmunds: 2018’s first-round pick, Edmunds started pretty much all of last season and slowly grew into that role. The expectation is that he takes a substantial leap forward this year. He has the raw talent to allow for that to happen.

Jordan Dangerfield: Dangerfield has been in the Steelers organization seemingly longer than the majority of those remaining from last year’s 53-man roster. He might not have good enough range to be versatile enough to play safety, but the team likes what he brings, which is why he’s still around.

Marcus Allen: The second-year safety out of Penn State is expected to fight for a role in 2019 as the dimebacker. Mike Tomlin even specifically mentioned him for this role after the draft. They liked him a lot coming out. With a year under his belt now, we’ll see how much.

Players Added:

Dravon Askew-Henry: An Aliquippa native, he and Locke below were signed as rookie college free agents. Askew-Henry has the capability of playing a number of different roles in the secondary, in theory, but this has yet to be tested.

P.J. Locke: The Texas product prides himself on his versatility, like Askew-Henry, but so far, as far as we know, he has only been used as a safety. He even reached out to Ryan Clark. Obviously he’ll have to earn his way onto the roster via special teams.

Players Deleted: N/A

Notes and Camp Outlook: 

With the Steelers not adding much, it’s important to note that Tomlin has talked about some cornerbacks being able to play safety. Kameron Kelly and Marcelis Branch both also reportedly took reps at safety in the spring.

For training camp, the onus is on the starters to gel together, while Edmunds has to show significant improvement from last season. Allen will be looking to prove worthy of a regular, or even niche role in the defense, while the young college free agents, including those mentioned above, will try to show enough, on defense and special teams, to encourage the team to keep five safeties, after carrying six into the season a year ago.

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