The other draft pick who was quite the surprise last year was Isaiahh Loudermilk. The Steelers traded up for the defensive lineman and he didn’t disappoint. Sure, he had some flaws and things to work on, but he progressed nicely as the year went on. While not a star, he looks the part of a rotational defensive end that can hold his own in run defense.
The team was aggressive in adding defensive linemen though, and because of it, Loudermilk may be on the outside looking in. This seemed even more true as rookie DeMarvin Leal has looked stout as both a run defender (something he struggled with in school) and as a pass rusher. The Steelers are notorious for only carrying six defensive linemen, so Loudermilk could be the odd man out.
Now the team could certainly change its ways and carry more defensive linemen. After all of the injuries suffered last year, it wouldn’t be a bad move. As well, the Steelers are one injury away from needing Loudermilk. As of now though, Loudermilk could be on the outside looking in due to the talent around him.
While there is still a lot of training camp for the Steelers left, these six former draft picks already seem like they may struggle to make the final roster. They will have to find a way to stand out sooner than later if they want to stick around this season.