7 former Steelers draft picks in danger of missing the 53-man roster

Pittsburgh Steelers guard Kevin Dotson (69)
Pittsburgh Steelers guard Kevin Dotson (69) / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
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Steelers Tre Norwood lost his role with the team

One of the biggest surprises of the 2021 rookie class was Tre Norwood. Taken in the seventh round, I, like many others, wrote Norwood off as a potential practice squad guy and not much more. He made the roster outright and even saw some early work in the slot. While that wasn’t great, he did settle into a role on dime defense.

There were expectations that he would maintain that role again in his second season, but he lost out on snaps and was used more as a reserve. When he did see the field, his coverage was fine, but his tackling was abysmal. It seems like the Steelers looked elsewhere as Norwood was consistently missing tackles.

Now, the safety room is extremely deep, and while he could serve as a fifth option, the team may only carry four if they go heavy at cornerback. He really doesn’t have a role anymore, as the dime defense is settled, but he could try his hand in the slot again. Frankly, I think that is his best shot at making the roster.

The slot defender role is wide open this offseason, and Norwood could serve there during coverage downs. The issue is unless his tackling has improved, he won’t be a viable slot defender on early downs. If his tackling is still an issue and he lacks a defined role, don’t be surprised to see him miss the roster this year if his play can’t be corrected.