PITTSBURGH — The Steelers wrapped up their rookie minicamp on Saturday after a few days of work with their young players and some other interesting standouts, however, who should the Steelers add to the roster with their 5 remaining spots? These are a few players who stood out at the rookie minicamp.
QB Bryce Perkins
Perkins is a veteran option that, at the very least, is intriguing and worthy enough of a contract. Being a fourth-year veteran after playing with the Rams, Perkins is a dual-threat quarterback that has shown some flashes during his time with the Rams, but never anything sustained. However, he has the veteran presence of mind with great intangibles off the field as a leader that will make him worthy of this spot.
I am not saying that Perkins is something special, in fact, the tape is really rough when you watch him playing for the Rams. But the team should bring in another quarterback to compete with Tanner Morgan for the QB3 spot, and Perkins is the perfect veteran foil to Morgan’s rookie leadership.
CB Tyler Moore
When you are looking at rookies without a contract and trying to see these players get signed, you have to look for unique traits that make them stand out in shorts. If the tape is not good enough to get signed at this juncture, then the traits, either tangible or intangible have to be good enough. I thought that Fort Valley State’s Tyler Moore really showed out from an athleticism standpoint.
The 6-foot cornerback might have been the most fluid cornerback out there. That stood out right away as the team worked him in and out of his breaks. Moore worked at the ROVER position at Fort Valley State, which meant he played at safety and in the slot. For a team looking for some slot cornerback help, the fluidity and short-area quickness are extremely intriguing. I would give Moore a chance.
C Mike Panasiuk
On the other hand, sometimes the tape might just make a bit of a difference when you watch Mike Panasiuk, one of the team’s XFL tryouts at minicamp. His size stands out, even against other large linemen. Panasiuk was vocal during the two days and yelled out calls, which is a promising sign from a learning and development standpoint. It was hard to gauge anything athletically from these two days, but between the XFL tape and the necessary intangibles, I think Panasiuk makes plenty of sense to get some tread in the IOL competition during training camp.
LB O’Rien Vance
When we talk about standing out physically, it was hard to not notice O’Rien Vance out of Iowa State during the two days. The 6-foot-1, 240 pound inside linebacker is chiseled and physically imposing even from a distance. During the drills that Aaron Curry ran, Vance looked explosive off his first step. I liked his fluidity in coverage and honestly came out wondering why he did not latch on somewhere as a UDFA in the process.
Well, it turns out that Vance ran a 4.81 40-yard dash and across the board, tested below average besides a 10-foot-1-inch broad jump at Iowa State’s pro day. That seems to explain it, but he looks like someone that could be an intriguing downhill thumper. With Tae Crowder, Chapelle Russell, Mark Robinson, Tanner Muse, Elandon Roberts, and Cole Holcomb on the roster, I think the Steelers could bring in some young inside linebackers to compete at training camp, and Vance would be a quality addition to that list.
CB Sylvonta Oliver
The defensive backs seemed to be one spot that the coaches really zeroed in on throughout the two days, and it would not be terribly surprising to me to see them land two defensive backs. I thought Moore looked good, but I thought 5-foot-9 Sylvonta Oliver out of Memphis had some intriguing physical traits. For one, through every drill, Oliver gave it his all and showed some serious fight.
As a guy who will play in the slot if signed, the Steelers should like that one trait. He looks to have good speed, and his testing backs this up as he ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at Memphis pro day. It all lines up well after a strong two days for Oliver to potentially land a gig heading into OTAs with the Steelers.