Following the first practice of the three-day Rookie Minicamp at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced the signings of six UDFAs, including quarterback Tanner Morgan, wide receiver/return specialist Jordan Byrd, defensive end James Nyamwaya, linebacker David Perales, fullback Monte Pottebaum and kicker B.T. Potter.
There is a notable omission from that group. Iowa State offensive lineman Trevor Downing reportedly agreed to sign with the Steelers after going undrafted, but he is not on the list of UDFA signings. Nor is he at Steelers Rookie Minicamp, which started Friday morning and runs through Sunday.
The six who are taking part in minicamp at the team’s South Side practice facility were previously reported as agreeing to terms with the Steelers as undrafted free agents. The moves Friday make them official members of the roster, though they already previously counted against the 90-man offseason roster.
Morgan is the third quarterback on the roster behind second-year pro Kenny Pickett and veteran Mitch Trubisky, each of whom spent time as the starter for the Steelers last season. Morgan he set numerous school records at Minnesota over five seasons, including season records of most passing yards with 3,253 (2019), touchdown passes with 30 (2019) and passing yards per game with 250.2 (2019). Morgan competed in the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas.
Potter will provide some competition for incumbent veteran kicker Chris Boswell through minicamp, OTAs and possibly training camp. Steelers special teams coordinator Danny Smith put Potter through his Pro Day workout at Clemson in March. He finished his career hitting 73 of 97 field goals and 234 of 235 PATs and holds numerous school records.
Pottebaum, who grew up a Steelers fan, played in 45 career games at Iowa, starting 18, and was one of the top blocking fullbacks in college football last season. Pottebaum won the Coaches Appreciation Award for special teams in 2022 and the Team Hustle Award on offense in 2021 and 2022.
Byrd, a former running back turned wide receiver and return specialist, was a three-time first-team All-Mountain West returner and finished his collegiate career with 2,020 kick return yards for an average of 24.9 yards per return. He also returned 67 punts for 445 yards and a touchdown. He returned three kicks for a touchdown, as well. He showed off his strength at his Pro Day when he benched 16 reps of 225 pounds.
Perales was a first-team All-Mountain West selection in 2022 and a second-team selection in 2021 and 2020. He recorded 11.5 sacks in 2022, the most by a Fresno State defender in a season in over 20 years. He finished his career with 119 tackles, 38 for a loss including 23 sacks with six pass deflections, an interception and nine forced fumbles with two recoveries.
Nyamwaya transferred to Merrimack from D-III Curry College in Milton, Mass., Nyamwaya tallied 5.5 sacks along with 27 tackles last season. His measurables are what the Steelers look for in defensive ends, as he stands at 6’4 and 294 pounds with 34 ¼-inch arms.
With the six officially signed UDFAs, the Steelers’ 90-man offseason roster sits at 85 players. We will provide updates on Downing, who appeared to have a no-so-daunting path to the 53-man roster, when we get them.