The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 offseason practices concluded last week and next up for the team is their annual training camp, which should get underway in the latter part of July at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. Ahead of Steelers training camp getting underway, we will preview the team’s offseason roster three players at a time for you as part of a 30-post series. This Steelers roster preview, which includes outlooks for each player, will be done alphabetically by last name to make it easy to follow along with.
The next three players we will preview ahead of Steelers training camp are Trey Edmunds, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Pat Freiermuth.
RB Trey Edmunds: The Steelers kept Edmunds on the practice squad for most of the 2021 season. He was, however, promoted to the active roster for two games late in the regular season and was used only on special teams in those contests, 18 snaps in total. Edmunds did not register any stats in his limited 2021 playing time that he received. The last snap that Edmunds played on offense came in 2020 and the last time he touched the football on offense was back in 2019.
Outlook: The story and 2022 outlook for Edmunds, the brother of Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds, is super short. Assuming he makes it to training camp, a lot would need to happen for him to land a spot on the 53-man roster for Week 1. While he did stay on the practice squad for most of the 2021 season, that’s not guaranteed to happen again in 2022. It would be a huge victory for him if he does manage to land one of those spots. While he is a running back by designation, the reason he has one foot still in the league at this point is because he has special teams abilities.
S Minkah Fitzpatrick: The Steelers just made Fitzpatrick the highest paid safety in the NFL this week and that move wasn’t a bit surprising. In 2021 Fitzpatrick had his first 100 tackle season when he registered 124 total tackles to lead the Steelers. 84 of those tackles were solo stops. He also recorded two interceptions, nine passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery last season. Fitzpatrick’s career-high 124 tackles led all defensive backs in the NFL in 2021 and were tied for the fifth-most by a defensive back in a single season since 2016. It was the most by a Steelers defensive back since 1987. The Steelers traded a first-round pick for Fitzpatrick in 2019 and in his nearly three seasons that he’s played in Pittsburgh, it’s easy to see why they did.
Outlook: In 2022, hopefully Fitzpatrick won’t need to make as many tackles as he did in 2021. Such an outcome would likely be a result of a healthy Steelers defensive front playing much than they did in 2021, and especially against the run. The Steelers rebuilt defense looks to rebound in 2021 and it will include a few new players. Fitzpatrick could be asked to play a little less deep safety in 2022 in an effort to make him harder to stay away from. The hope should be that Fitzpatrick at least doubles his 2021 interception stat-line, if not triple it. In short, another All-Pro season should be expected for Fitzpatrick in 2022. He’s a great player with great work ethic.
TE Pat Freiermuth: After being selected in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Steelers, Freiermuth, a Penn State product, hit the ground running as a rookie. In total, Freiermuth caught 60 passes for 497 yards and seven touchdowns during the 2021 regular season, which included him missing one contest due to a concussion. He also caught another four passes for 25 yards in the Steelers Wild Card playoff loss. As a blocker, Freiermuth was merely average at the end on the line. He was much better in that department out in space, however. While Freiermuth did have a respectable number of receptions in 2021, his average yards per catch was just 8.3 yards. That was probably a byproduct of the quick, short passing game with veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger under center. As far as rookie seasons go for a Steeler tight end, Freiermuth performed well. He obviously would have had a few more receptions had he not missed one game due to a concussion. In total, he logged 683 total offensive snaps during regular season play.
Outlook: Freiermuth will be expected to make a nice jump in his second season. With a new quarterback under center and the team likely to use more two tight end sets in 2022, Freiermuth should easily exceed his 2021 playing time and especially with him officially being the team’s top player at the position group. While Freiermuth might not see a huge increase in receptions in 2022, the hope is that his average yards per catch will increase significantly. The byproduct of that should be at least 700 receiving yards. Freiermuth could also become the top third down target in 2022 as well. As for his scoring, another seven or more touchdowns should be expected. Freiermuth’s run blocking should also improve quite a bit in 2022 as well and the Steelers offense really needs that to happen.
Previous Posts In Series:
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Montravius Adams, Marcus Allen, Tyson Alualu
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Daniel Archibong, Calvin Austin III, Genard Avery
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Chris Boswell, Miles Boykin, Devin Bush
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Chase Claypool, Mason Cole, James Daniels
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Carlos Davis, Khalil Davis, Jake Dixon
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Kevin Dotson, Mataeo Durant, Terrell Edmunds