4 forgotten Steelers who could be big surprises this upcoming season

Many are forgetting about these current Steelers on the roster heading into the NFL Draft
Green Bay Packers v Pittsburgh Steelers
Green Bay Packers v Pittsburgh Steelers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Everyone is focused on the NFL Draft, and for good reason. There will be tons of prospects out there who could upgrade the Steelers roster for this upcoming season. Just because there are potential upgrades out there, we cannot forget about some other players who remain on the roster. The guys that will battle the incoming draft class for roster spots.

Training camp will be our guide when it comes to some of these options listed below making the roster and growing their roles from last season. Some missed the entire year while others weren't able to grow their roles for one reason or another. This year could be their opportunity to come out of nowhere and become a starter or play a huge role on the team.

Cory Trice was turning heads at training camp before suffering an injury

One player who could come out of the woodwork and fix a lot of issues currently plaguing the Steelers is Cory Trice Jr. He was a seventh-round pick in last year's draft and slipped because of his injury concerns. He was having a fantastic training camp until he suffered a season-ending injury during the preseason process.

If Trice can come back to form and become a quality second starting cornerback opposite of Joey Porter Jr., then it will allow for the club to focus on a slot cornerback fix. Trice has a lot of injury issues, so that will remain a concern for the rest of his career. If he can stay healthy this time around, then the Steelers might have found a true diamond in the rough who can push Donte Jackson.

The NFL Draft will directly affect DeMarvin Leal's future in Pittsburgh

It was a rough year for DeMarvin Leal in 2023. We know that he was suffering multiple problems last year and that never allowed him to recover. Add that on top of the fact that Keeanu Benton outplayed him in most ways, and Leal has been missing on people's radars for a while. He had a decent year during his rookie campaign, but that seems like a century ago.

That created for big expectations for Leal heading into last season, but it was one setback after another. He has a ton of talent but seems to be an oddball for Pittsburgh's defensive scheme. If he can find the right role for himself on this defense, then he could produce a breakout year. Leal would fix a lot of problems in the trenches for the Steelers if he showed up big time.

Dylan Cook could build off of his strong preseason process last year

Right tackle remains a major topic of conversation when you talk about the upcoming NFL Draft. It seems like the Steelers will target that position early, but sometimes that is not how things work out. Broderick Jones needs to move over to the left side sooner or later, and the club hopes that they can find a solution to that problem much sooner rather than later.

Dylan Cook could be the solution as the once quarterback showed up big time at training camp last year. This could be his year of breaking out during the preseason to push for a starting spot. He is the latest tackle project in Pittsburgh and that could mean Cook takes a leap like Kelvin Beachum and Al Villanueva have before him. Cook has a raw skillset, but he could produce his best preseason roster charge yet.

Center could have an unknown fix with Spencer Anderson on the team

Somewhat a similar situation to Cook here as Spencer Anderson is a forgotten offensive lineman. He made the roster last season and his versatility across the offensive line is what helped his road to the roster last training camp. Availability is your best ability as Mike Tomlin is a pure believer of that. Anderson played a ton of different position in college.

Now, claiming that Anderson is going to be the starting center for the Steelers this upcoming season might be a stretch right now. He has a lot to do in training camp just to make the team, let alone start at center or elsewhere. Anderson has a lot of tools to like and is someone who could play center. If the Steelers can't take a center early in the draft then Anderson could be a realistic option to battle a rookie and Nate Herbig for the starting job.

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