3 bubble players who must make Steelers roster in 2021
By Tommy Jaggi
The Pittsburgh Steelers have several a handful of young players who have made an impact this summer, but these three roster bubble players must make the team.
For the most part, it’s been most of the same names mentioned at training camp on repeat since the Steelers opened practice at Heinz Field. This is largely due to popularity. Everyone and their mother want to see Najee Harris in tote the rock while wearing black and gold and high-profile names steal much of the spotlight.
But what about some of the players on the roster bubble? While their names are only mentioned a fraction of the number of times a star player draws buzz on the team, they could prove to have roles on the future of this franchise, and keeping them makes much more sense than the alternative player they are competing with. Here are three players on the bubble who must make Steelers roster in 2021:
CB Mark Gilbert
Heading into Steelers training camp, Mark Gilbert was widely unknown. I had done a little research and went back on to watch some film on Gilbert to know that he was an intriguing undrafted free agent signing. If you were unfamiliar with Gilbert before training camp, that’s probably because he played just 4 games over the past three years in college. Prior to that, however, he was fantastic.
As a true sophomore at Duke, Gilbert managed a whopping 6 interceptions in 13 games, according to Sports Reference. In addition, he possesses ideal size (6’1/8”, 186 lbs) and athletic traits (4.48 40-yard, 36” vertical, 10’10” broad) for an outside cornerback and has the potential to develop into a starter down the road.
Gilbert has quietly been one of the most impressive players at training camp this summer – displaying sticky coverage and flashing the ability to get his hands on the ball. Right now, I’d say there are 5 cornerbacks locked into a roster spot (Haden, Sutton, Pierre, Brooks, Layne). This means that there may be just one spot available between Gilbert, Arthur Maulet, and Shakur Brown. Gilbert certainly has my vote.