Now that we’ve said goodbye to all of the prominent members of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster from a year ago, it’s time to introduce ourselves to the new blood. Many of them, of course, are draft picks, but the team also ended up picking up numerous players via free agency, the majority of whom we’ll likely be seeing in-season at some point.
Roster turnover is an inevitability in the NFL, but the 2021 season marked greater change than normal. Some of those adjustments will be accounted for internally, but it will also require the supplementing of a number of new components, which we’ll be reintroducing ourselves to over the course of this series.
A couple of weeks into training camp, the Steelers have already had to make several roster moves due to players getting injured. The first move made was waiving tight end Dax Raymond injured—for the second year in a row. They replaced him with another tight end in Marcus Baugh, who at least looks the part as a prospect.
Baugh has been around for a bit, originally coming into the league in 2018 as a college free agent out of Ohio State. His first stop was with the Oakland Raiders, but he didn’t make it there. He spent the 2019 season injured with the Carolina Panthers, before getting some time with the Washington Football Team a year ago. He caught one pass for two yards.
In between, he, like many others, spent some time in the Alliance of American Football, which frankly makes it surprising that the Steelers didn’t originally sign him in 2019, though I believe the Panthers were also among the most prominent teams in scooping those players up. J.C. Hassenauer from that league is still kicking around on the Steelers’ 90-man roster.
Baugh played four seasons for the Buckeyes, during which time he caught 55 passes for 607 yards, scoring eight touchdowns. He is not the tallest tight end around at under 6’4”, but he’s got a bit of a frame to him.
Looking at the tight end position, though, there isn’t much room beyond practice. With Eric Ebron and Pat Freiermuth firmly planted at the top of the depth chart, young Zach Gentry and Kevin Rader are already spending the Summer duking it out to see who will serve as the number three.
The loser will make the practice squad as the fourth tight end, provided that he isn’t claimed off waivers, which it probably unlikely. But they’ve had worse tight end prospects on the training camp grounds before.