5 early Pittsburgh Steelers defensive training camp positional battles in 2020
Backup EDGE: Ola Adeniyi vs. Alex Highsmith
On a typical year with a full offseason, perhaps Alex Highsmith would stand a better chance of being the first edge defender off the bench for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was wildly productive during his time at Charlotte and his coaches praised him for how fast he caught on. However, the shortened offseason will no doubt factor into his role in 2020.
Meanwhile, Ola Adeniyi has been no slouch for the Steelers. Adeniyi was picked up as an undrafted free agent in 2018, and he was thoroughly impressed during his first NFL training camp – recording 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.
Adeniyi told me in an interview this offseason that his goal is to be the first outside linebacker off the bench in the rotation, and all signs seem to be pointed towards him as the player to do that right now.
Perhaps Highsmith will stand a better chance at earning playing time as the season marches on, but out of training camp, Adeniyi will be the frontrunner as the primary backup on the edge.