Predicting the early roster sleepers for the 2020 Steelers

Trajan Bandy (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Trajan Bandy (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TX – MARCH 7: Philip Nelson #9 of the Dallas Renegades about to be tackled by Cavon Walker #99 of the New York Guardians during the XFL game at Globe Life Park on March 7, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jeremiah Jhass/XFL via Getty Images) /

Cavon Walker

While the XFL was a short-lived league, there was a large group of players added to 90-man rosters once it folded. The Steelers played their part, adding several new faces to the backend of their roster. Most notably may have been DT Cavon Walker who was the sack leader in the XFL when the league folded.

Looking over his college days, the fact he was as dominant in the XFL is a mild surprise, as his time in Maryland never took off and had barely contributed at the NFL level. He showed a surprising amount of ability on the inside though, and he at the very least adds an able body to the NT group, an extremely thin position for the Steelers.

Minus his lack of NFL experience, his size is the biggest issue. While 6’2 is a great height for an NT, his 278-pound listed weight is closer to an OLB in the Steelers system. He will need to add around 20 pounds to his frame to maximize his size on the inside, as he is too small and will get bullied on the line if he doesn’t.

That said pass-rushing gets you paid, and that was arguably the strongest aspect of his game in the XFL. He’ll be in a fight with Daniel McCullers and the other NT options in camp for what could be only one spot on the roster. There is a very real chance he could have a dominant camp but still end up being cut. While being a camp sleeper typically means you make the roster, with the new practice squad rules, Walker would qualify. While he may start on the practice squad, he could bounce up and down and hopefully supplement or take over for McCullers sooner than later.