The Pittsburgh Steelers still have many more cuts to make, but here are three young players on the bubble who have played well enough to make the roster.
On August 17th, the NFL required all NFL teams to make their first wave of roster cuts by 4:00 P.M. Eastern Time – cutting from 90 players down to 85. The first to go for the Steelers were K Sam Sloman, WR Isaiah McKoy, OT Brandon Walton, DT Abdullah Anderson, and CB Steven Denmark.
None of the names who have been released so far have been surprises. However, we are starting to enter territory that is going to be much harder for the Steelers to choose who to keep. While there will be a few more obvious cuts to follow, these three players have played well enough to warrant a roster spot in 2021. Whether or not they will be given one is an entirely different question.
WR Anthony Johnson
Anthony Johnson doesn’t have any defining athletic traits. The former Buffalo wideout runs in the mid 4.5s and doesn’t create a lot of separation. In addition, at 26 years old, Johnson would be the oldest wide receiver on the Steelers if he made the team.
However, if we are looking at him based on merit and not on athletic ceiling or upside, Johnson has been doing enough to make Pittsburgh’s roster this offseason. That decision, of course, is contingent upon whether or not the Steelers elect to keep a sixth wide receiver – something they didn’t do last year.
Though Johnson doesn’t wow with his speed or ability with the ball in his hands, he simply catches everything thrown his way and he knows how to use his 6’2”, 220-pound frame to his advantage. In addition, Johnson has performed well on special teams. Pittsburgh will probably only keep five receivers again in 2021, but Johnson has played well enough this summer to warrant a roster spot.