6 Steelers veterans on the roster bubble ahead of 2021 camp

Benny Snell #24 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Benny Snell #24 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers safety Marcus Allen (27). Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

Marcus Allen

There had been talks seemingly since he was drafted that Marcus Allen would make the transition from safety to linebacker. Despite being a little smaller Allen’s physical nature as safety and mediocre athleticism made him a more natural fit as a downhill linebacker than a traditional safety. He had his growing pains, but he performed well when called upon due to injury.

The problem is similar to Gilbert’s, as the Steelers drafted Johnson in the fourth round of the draft. Considering his top-level athleticism and draft status, it is hard to write him off the roster at this point. This means Gilbert and Allen are fighting for potentially one spot. Allen’s playtime from last year seems to favor his odds, but he wasn’t particularly dynamic when on the field.

Despite being a former safety, Allen still gave up a relatively high quarterback rating of 93.3 when being targeted. For a linebacker that would be considered a coverage specialist, that number simply isn’t good enough. What really benefits Allen is that linebacker isn’t a deep position right now, meaning this fight is likely between him and Gilbert assuming the team keeps five here. That said, if Gilbert can flash anything as he did during his rookie preseason, Allen may find his time on the Steelers to be over.