The last time that we took a look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster in review, it was weeks before the 2021 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, though some have remained largely static.
We are closing in on the opening of the Steelers’ several weeks of training camp, this time back 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: 7
Minkah Fitzpatrick: Plain and simple, Fitzpatrick has been a first-team All-Pro since he’s been here, and there’s no immediate reason to assume that’s going to change. He is one of the cornerstone pieces of the future of this defense, and is in line for a huge extension in 2022.
Terrell Edmunds: The news on Edmunds is the fact that the Steelers elected not to pick up his fifth-year option for 2022. But as he continues to grow incrementally year by year, there is still a path to a future in Pittsburgh beyond this season.
Antoine Brooks: The only returning reserve at the position from last season, Brooks is a second-year former sixth-round pick who spent much of his rookie season on the practice squad. He has reportedly worked a lot in the slot this spring, however, and seems to be in contention to start there.
Tre Norwood: The Oklahoma product is ready and willing to play any spot in the secondary, and has worked in different spots already, but free safety may be the best role for the rookie seventh-rounder.
Arthur Maulet: A veteran free agent signed after the draft, Maulet is listed as a safety but is capable of playing all positions in the secondary.
Donovan Stiner: One of two rookie college free agents at the position, Stiner is an interesting size prospect at 6’2”, 210 pounds out of Florida.
Lamont Wade: A slot-capable safety out of Penn State, Wade has reportedly worked at both positions this spring, but is listed as a safety on the roster. As with all players in his position who weigh under 280 pounds, his ticket to a roster spot is on special teams.
Sean Davis: A former second-round pick, Davis spent his first five seasons with the Steelers, coming back last year after being released by Washington. He served as a backup in 2020 and is currently with the Indianapolis Colts.
Jordan Dangerfield: A long-time special teamer who served as captain last year, Dangerfield, at least as of yet, has not been re-signed. It may be the end of the road for the 30-year-old.
John Battle: After spending most of the 2020 season on the practice squad, Battle was let go following the draft. The Steelers drafted a player at the position and signed two more as college free agents, before adding Maulet to the mix on top of it.
Notes and Camp Outlook:
There’s not much to say about the starters, as they’re entering their third year together at this point, but there remain major questions about the depth. Where exactly does Brooks fit within the safety position, especially if he is playing the slot?
Maulet has some veteran experience lining up at safety, and is the only player on the roster among the reserves who can say that. A big chunk of the depth chart consists of late-round and undrafted rookies, so there will be a lot of sorting out to do to figure out if any of them are players worthy of a roster spot.