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 Isaiahh Loudermilk, Arthur Maulet, and Anthony McFarland Jr.
DE Isaiahh Loudermilk: After selecting Loudermilk in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin, the young defensive lineman went on to dress and play in 15 regular season games in addition to the lone playoff contest. Mainly due to injuries suffered on the Steelers defensive line in 2021, Loudermilk logged a total of 288 regular season defensive snaps with 43 more snaps coming on special teams. He finished his rookie season with 23 total tackles, one sack, three passes defensed. He also was credited with three more tackles in the team’s playoff loss.
Outlook: The main thing that stuck out about Loudermilk’s play in 2021 was his run defense. That definitely improved as his rookie season wore on. As a pass rusher, however, his play during his rookie season left a lot to be desired. Loudermilk should show up to training camp this summer a lot stronger and in a lot better physical condition than he was in 2021. The snaps he received as a rookie were also very valuable ones as he should now have a good grasp of the defense. The Steelers signed free agent veteran defensive linemen Larry Ogunjobi just recently and with him now in the room, in addition to defensive tackle Tyson Alualu hopefully back healthy again, Loudermilk’s snap totals might not increase all that much in 2022. He needs to continue to improve as a run blocker this summer and make a big leap as a pass rusher. As we sit here in late June, Loudermilk seems poised to be rotational backup on the Steelers defensive line in 2022.
CB Arthur Maulet: The Steelers re-signed Maulet to a two-year, $3.825 million contract back in March. After signing him to a one-year deal last year, the Steelers used him quite a lot and mostly in the slot in nickel and dime sub-packages. In total, Maulet logged 380 defensive snaps during the 2021 regular season on his way to registering 46 total tackles, one pass defensed, two quarterback hits, and one forced fumble. He also had one tackle on special teams in the 162 snaps he played. Coverage-wise, Maulet was targeted 25 times and allowed 18 receptions for 261 yards and a touchdown, according to PFF data. He also is down as missing three tackles on the season.
Outlook: With Maulet back in the fold this summer, the expectation is for him to make the Steelers 53-man roster once again. He could be asked to play a similar role in 2022 as he did in 2021, which would mean a lot of slot play in sub-packages. The Steelers do have a few other options to play some in the slot in 2022 so it will be interesting to see how that might ultimately impact Maulet’s defensive playing time overall. Last season, Maulet logged a good chunk of his special teams snaps as part of the kick and punt return units so we could see a continuation of that for him in 2022 as well.
RB Anthony McFarland Jr.: The 2021 season certainly wasn’t a memorable one for McFarland, the Steelers former fourth round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Maryland. McFarland started the 2021 season on the Steelers Reserve/Injured list with a knee injury and it wasn’t until October 31 until he saw his first game action. He also missed several other games last season on the COVID-19 list. In total, McFarland saw action in just two regular season games for the Steelers in 2021 on his way to logging 19 offensive snaps and eight special teams snaps. He recorded three carries for 3 yards in 2021 and caught one pass for another 11 yards. He also returned three kickoffs for 73 yards.
Outlook: With two NFL seasons now in the books for McFarland, he has managed just 43 total touches on offense in just 108 total offensive snaps played in regular season action. As a former fourth round draft, that’s not great at all. This summer will be a big one for McFarland and there’s no guarantee that it ends with him making the Week 1 53-man roster. While the Steelers did not draft another running back this year, that did add two as undrafted free agents in Mateo Durant and Jaylen Warren. Outside of being a kickoff returner, McFarland doesn’t offer very much in the way of special teams play so that’s another strike against him this summer. In closing, McFarland needs to have a great summer if he’s going to stick around past the team’s final preseason game.
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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
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