The Pittsburgh Steelers have some quality football players who aren’t guaranteed to make the team. Here are some surprise cuts we could see before the season.
It’s hard not to like what we’ve seen from some young Steelers players early in the 2022 preseason. Sadly, it might take more than a few quality exhibition games to stick around on Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster for the upcoming season. While Pittsburgh lacks depth at several positions, there are a few that seem to be extremely deep.
Historic trends give us a great baseline of how many players we can expect the team to keep at each position. Omar Khan and Mike Tomlin could choose to break some of these trends, but there still might not be enough available spots to keep some quality players. Here are a few Steelers who could be surprise roster cuts before the start of the season:
Anthony McFarland might not offer enough on special teams as RB3
Based on what we saw from Anthony McFarland in his first preseason action of 2022, I would like to think that his job on the roster is safe, but that’s not guaranteed to be the case. While his speed on offense is electrifying, he hasn’t shown much in his first two seasons.
What could really hurt him is not contributing on special teams. McFarland can return kicks, but this part of the game is diminishing. He’s not a punt returner and he really doesn’t play on special teams coverage units. Pittsburgh could prefer an RB3 who has more to offer here.
Because of this, I wouldn’t be totally shocked if they elected to go with a young standout player like Jaylen Warren. Warren probably offers more as a runner between the tackles and could offer more snaps on special teams. I’m still predicting McFarland makes the team, but this could come down to preference by the Steelers.
Between Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland, and Jaylen Warren, none of these three are really considered roster locks, and one is going to be the odd man out this season.
Montravius Adams is hardly a Steelers roster lock
The Steelers have a dilemma at the bottom of their defensive line depth. Historically, the team has only kept six interior defenders. In fact, they haven’t kept a seventh since they made room for Alameda Ta’amu all the way back in 2012. Even if they do keep a seventh, Montravius Adams could be the odd man out.
Pittsburgh already has several players who are almost certain to make the team. Obviously, Cam Heyward is a lock, but Tyson Alualu, Larry Ogunjobi, DeMarvin Leal, and Chris Wormley should all make it as well. If the Steelers don’t keep seven, it could mean that either Adams or Isaiahh Loudermilk is the odd man out. This isn’t even counting players like Carlos Davis, Khalil Davis, and Henry Mondeaux — who would likely need multiple injuries ahead of them to even have a chance.
Isaiah Loudermilk could be the biggest shocker of them all
If Adams isn’t the odd man out, then perhaps Isaiahh Loudermilk is. Personally, I think it would be wise for the team to go against the trend and keep a seventh interior defender this year — especially considering the depleted DL they suffered with last season as they finished dead last in the league in run defense.
Loudermilk offers a big body that can contain his gap in running situations. The team just traded a fourth-round pick to move back into the 2021 NFL Draft to select him, so it’s hard to imagine giving up on him already, but somebody is going to have to go unless they devote another roster spot to an interior defensive lineman.
Personally, I feel like all of these players are deserving of making the roster, but a few could be out of a job soon. The Pittsburgh Steelers have a few very deep positions and it could all come down to a matter of preference and who has the most to offer on special teams.