I’ll admit I didn’t expect the Pittsburgh Steelers to sign a fullback as one of their ten undrafted free agents last month. But that’s what they did with Auburn’s Spencer Nigh. In this day and age, most teams don’t carry even one fullback, let alone two, and with Derek Watt’s roster spot cemented, it’s difficult to see any part of Nigh making it. But there is a chance and you don’t have to look too far back to find an example.
Roosevelt Nix didn’t waltz his way onto the roster. In fact, his odds of making it seemed to basically be zero. When he signed a contract with Pittsburgh in 2015, Will Johnson was the established starter. He wasn’t losing his job, seemingly leaving Nix with no path to the 53.
He proved me wrong. Nix had a solid training camp and turned on the heat in preseason stadiums. He cemented his roster spot in the finale against the Carolina Panthers, blocking this punt.
That’s what Nigh has to emulate. He should be a good blocker at 6’0, 267, at least, he needs to be, while also killing it on special teams.
Because when you’re a quality special teamer, positions get thrown out the window. The last 2-3 spots on a 53 man roster? They go to the best players on the team, the ones who can contribute on punt/kick coverage, and God knows this team could use some better blocking on kick returns. Special teams coaches like Danny Smith have plenty of influence over those decisions; Tomlin and Colbert still have final say but Smith can push them in the direction he wants to go.
So yes, Nigh’s chances are remote. To say otherwise would be to ignore reality. However, those odds aren’t impossible and you only have to search back into very recent history to show how he can make it.