As we’ve done in previous years, we’re taking a look at those Pittsburgh Steelers under futures contracts for the 2023 offseason. The ones who spent most if not the entire year on the practice squad and what we can expect from them during training camp (hopefully) into the regular season.
Emeke Egbule/LB Houston – 6017, 240
If you had to list the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster top to bottom from the most to least recognizable name, Emeke Egbule might be at the bottom. Even for someone like me who wants to know what kind of milk Jaylen Warren uses for his morning cereal (whole? 2%?), Egbule is a name even I tend to forget about (almond?).
Egbule can pal around with fellow Houston linebacker Elandon Roberts this summer, their time in college together overlapping in the 2015 season. Egbule’s college numbers were never that impressive, 69 tackles and two sacks, but he had some size and reasonable athleticism that made him the Los Angeles Chargers’ sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft.
Our pre-draft profile written by Tom Mead focused on his aggressive pass-rush mentality and play strength while dinging him for inconsistent tackling while noting his athletic background, playing tight end in high school. You can read our full report below.
He saw plenty of action for the team, appearing in 32 games, though all as a backup with his focus on special teams. In 2019 and 2020, he played a combined 355 special teams snaps compared to just 56 defensively. He racked up 11 tackles over that span before things fell off in 2022, failing to make the initial roster and ultimately playing in three games. Injuries opened the door for him to see a bit more time defensively, logging 40 snaps, though finished the year with just two tackles.
Pittsburgh signed Egbule to its practice squad in early December and carried him the rest of the winter, inking him to a Futures deal the following month.
The Steelers’ inside linebacker group looks a bit thin at the end of the group, turning over the room with the departures of Robert Spillane, Myles Jack, and Devin Bush and replacing them with Cole Holcomb, Tanner Muse, Roberts, and Egbule. Don’t forget about Mark Robinson or even Tae Crowder, who brings his own Sunday experience. Kwon Alexander’s potential addition, reported after this was prepared days ago, could throw a wrench into all those thoughts.
But with a good summer, Egbule will have a path to the 53, especially if Pittsburgh only carries four outside linebackers.