5 players who might not make it through the summer on Steelers roster

As the summer nears and offseason workouts ramp up, the Steelers could be on the hot seat.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts
Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

As the Steelers return to the Steel City for Organized Team Activities, fans, media members and teammates will get to see the 2024 draft class in action. There’s a lot of optimism about this Steelers draft class and it seems like a majority of the class will make the 53-man roster.

The arrival of a promising draft class could mean the departure of a few tenured members of the roster. With all that being said, which Steelers could find themselves on the chopping block this summer?

1. Dan Moore Jr., OT

It’s not often a player goes from starting left tackle on a playoff team to being cut the following summer, but Moore Jr. could find himself in that unfortunate company. Since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2021 draft, Moore Jr. has taken a lot of criticism from Steelers fans for some below-average performance.

He earned a 51.8 PFF grade last season, ranking near the bottom of the tackle position. For comparison, Laremy Tunsil was 20th in the rankings with a 75.5 grade. Moore Jr.’s underperformance led to the Steelers taking Washington tackle Troy Fautanu with the 20th overall pick in this draft.

With Fautanu and 2023 first-round pick Broderick Jones in the mix at the tackle position, it looks like Moore Jr. could be relegated to a reserve role and could become expendable in the process.

2. MyCole Pruitt, TE

It might seem odd to have a free agent the team just signed a few months ago on this list, but Pruitt finds himself in a surprisingly deep tight end room.

Pat Freiermuth is a top 10-15 tight end in the game and is entrenched as the starter. Darnell Washington is entering his second year on the team and provided a big boost to the running game with his blocking ability. He’s not going anywhere. Connor Heyward plays a hybrid TE-FB spot for the Steelers but has proved to be a valuable special teams and gadget player.

That leaves Pruitt as the TE4 on the roster and in serious risk of being cut. Pruitt played under new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith in Atlanta last year, which may be his saving grace and get him a roster spot.

3. Isaiahh Loudermilk, DT

A 2021 5th-round pick out of Wisconsin, Isaiahh Loudermilk provided a bit of a splash in his rookie season, tallying 23 total tackles and a sack in 15 games. However, the last two seasons have not been kind to Loudermilk, who put up 23 total tackles and no sacks in 27 games. He finds himself in the back end of a deeper defensive tackle room than most people think.

Cam Heyward, Larry Ogunjobi, Montravious Adams, and Keeanu Benton will play a majority of the snaps at the position, with veterans Dean Lowry and Breiden Fehoko also in the mix for playing time.

Due to Loudermilk's lack of production the last two seasons along with new names like Lowry and 6th-round pick Logan Lee entering the fold, Loudermilk could find himself in search of a new team by the end of the summer.

4. Trenton Thompson, S

Thompson’s story is an interesting one for sure. After signing with the New York Giants as a UDFA following the 2022 NFL draft and didn’t really play during the 2022 season. He was released by the Giants in July of last year and the Steelers signed him to the practice squad, where it was assumed he would provide good depth but shouldn’t be needed to appear in a game.

After a rash of injuries at the safety position during the 2023 season, Thompson’s name was called and he performed admirably. He posted 22 tackles and an interception in 6 games.

The Steelers addressed the safety room in the offseason, signing DeShon Elliott to a 2-year deal to be the starter with Minkah Fitzpatrick. Damontae Kazee and Miles Killebrew both return as well, which could lead to the possibility of Thompson being left off the 2024 roster.

5. Mark Robinson, LB

Ever since Ryan Shazier suffered a career ending injury in 2017, the Steelers have been looking for that sideline-to-sideline ball hawk linebacker to fill his role. Entering 2024, the inside linebacker room might be the strongest it's been in years.

The Steelers made a splash in free agency, luring Patrick Queen over from the Ravens. They also drafted maybe the best inside linebacker in the draft in Payton Wilson (assuming he’s healthy). With Elandon Roberts returning and hopefully Cole Holcomb as well at some point, it’ll be tough for Mark Robinson to make the cut.

Robinson has shown flashes, including an interception and a forced fumble last season, but lacks the consistency needed to play every down. This is no knock on Robinson, I think he’s a good depth player, but with a deeper linebacker room and a lack of consistency from Robinson, the Steelers could choose to go in another direction and try to stash Robinson on the practice squad.