The last time that we took a look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster in review, it was weeks before the 2020 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, this time not at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, so it would be a good time to pause and take stock of where the team stands at each position as we head into the most critical process of the offseason.
Total Positional Figure: 9
Minkah Fitzpatrick: A first-team All-Pro in 2019, Fitzpatrick has quickly vaulted himself into the conversation as one of the best safeties of the game. Around midseason, his name was circulating for Defensive Player of the Year.
Terrell Edmunds: Year three is a big one for Edmunds, who has dealt with change and instability around him in the early stages of his career. If he doesn’t start showing significant progress, particularly would the ability to create splash plays, he has no chance of having his fifth-year option picked up.
Jordan Dangerfield: One of the Steelers’ core special teams players, but do they trust him to play on defense? He might be the top backup this year whether they do or not.
Marcus Allen: After spending most of his second season on the practice squad, the 2018 fifth-round pick is looking to justify his roster spot this year. The Steelers were high on him coming out of college.
John Battle: Signed to a futures contract after the season ended. There was some buzz about him as a prospect, but he has an uphill battle.
Arrion Springs: After spending time on practice squads, Springs played in the XFL this winter, intercepting one pass, before signing with the Steelers in April. He can play cornerback and safety.
Tyree Kinnel: Kinnel is another safety or safety-capable player signed out of the XFL. A former Wolverine, he joins his Michigan teammate Devin Bush.
Antoine Brooks: A sixth-round pick this year, Brooks doesn’t have the athletic profile you would like, but he has all the smarts. Kevin Colbert literally called him half a safety, half a linebacker.
James Pierre: A tall prospect from outside of the Power 5 conference, Pierre played both safety and cornerback, spending his first two years at safety before moving to cornerback in his junior season in 2019.
Tray Matthews: A practice squad player for the latter stages of the 2019 season, he was released after drafting Brooks and signing Bandy and Pierre as college free agents.
Notes and Camp Outlook:
Pittsburgh hasn’t had a lot of continuity at safety since the days of Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark. Mike Mitchell was the only consistent presence after that. Fitzpatrick will be the next staple at the position, but will Edmunds? They still need time to grow together as a pair.
Dangerfield has literally been in as many Steelers training camps as Stephon Tuitt, so he’s not going to show anything new. Allen still could. Then you have a bunch of new faces like Battle, Brooks, and Kinnel, all of whom could push for a roster spot.