Steelers Analysis & Film Study
5 Players the Steelers Could Sign to Fill Their Last Roster Spot
Ahead of Tuesday’s beginning of OTAs, the Steelers still have one roster spot open. Ideally, that roster spot would get filled on Monday before the team comes together to start the offseason program in depth. However, who are a few players that could make sense for that spot? These are just a few players the Steelers could use to fill the 90th roster spot.
LB Kwon Alexander
Kwon Alexander came to Pittsburgh for a visit early last week and he is an intriguing option to fill the void on the roster. For one, I just think inside linebacker is the biggest need left on this team. Elandon Roberts and Cole Holcomb are fine in specialized roles, but there needs to be someone who is a coverage specialist. Alexander is known for that part of his game could be the sub-package linebacker.
Simply put, he is a veteran with experience that gives Pittsburgh more options than they have right now. Roberts is the plug and Holcomb is the scrape in this linebacker room. Now, they need that coverage guy. Alexander feels like a solid get if they can come to terms with him, but since he left Pittsburgh without a deal, there could be some complicating factors on that end. Regardless, I think Alexander would be a much-needed addition to the room.
EDGE Kyle Van Noy
If you are looking for another flashy name, Kyle Van Noy makes sense as another player that Pittsburgh could land in a position of need. Van Noy continues to be a productive and valuable depth player as a veteran, and can play off-ball as well as special teams for the Steelers. Outside linebacker seems to be a place that Pittsburgh has plenty of interest in upgrading with Bud Dupree coming in for a visit and the tryout for XFL standout Stansly Maponga coming as well.
But Van Noy offers a player that likely would not break the bank like a Justin Houston or Yannick Ngaouke-type and give the Steelers a solid option should Alex Highsmith or T.J. Watt get injured. The fabric of a Van Noy-esuqe player is there with Nick Herbig, too, and he could be an excellent mentor.
CB Bryce Callahan
I still think the Steelers could use to add another slot cornerback. They like Chandon Sullivan and his experience, but the tape is rough. Outside of him, there is a hodgepodge of players from Duke Dawson to Patrick Peterson to Tre Norwood that could fill that spot. However, getting a steady, slot option with good tape last year in Bryce Callahan could make plenty of sense to add to the room.
Sure, it pushes that slot cornerback competition even more. Anything that festers competition during these camp periods is a good thing, but Callahan is a solid coverage option that can play all three downs in the slot and the Steelers would not have to worry much about shifting their sub-packages with him in there. Similar to Cam Sutton, Callahan can play all over the formation once on the inside, including at dimebacker. He could be an addition that really makes the secondary stronger.
LB Deion Jones
Yet again, I raise the biggest concern on the team to be inside linebacker, but coverage linebacker. Well, Alexander is not the only one out there if Pittsburgh wants to look in another direction. Deion Jones is out there, and I was skeptical at first when I saw his name. Listen, the injuries have been a real concern for him in Atlanta and he is simply not the same player he once was at his peak.
But watching the Cleveland tape, it’s not bad. He has issues in run defense, but I think Roberts and Holcomb are good on that front anyway. If you want to specialize the ILB room as much as possible, Jones as the coverage specialist gives this team the boon it would need. His coverage ability is still the best part of his game, and so I would at least inquire about Jones at this stage in the process.
OLB Trent Harris
If you want to go the XFL route, which the Steelers have not been against after signing Luq Barcoo and Hakeem Butler, Trent Harris could be a fascinating addition to the roster. Harris registered 9.5 sacks across 9 games played as part of the Houston Roughnecks. He came into the NFL in 2018 after playing four seasons in Miami and has been with the Patriots, Dolphins, and Giants in separate stints. Only 27, Harris has some intriguing upside that I would be interested in taking a swing on if a tryout went well.
Of course, it is likely the player that the Steelers sign for that spot will be none of these players listed above. They fall into the ‘flashy’ bucket. Indeed, the last signing will likely be someone that comes from out of nowhere that comes from a more unheralded background. Regardless, if they want to make some splash, these are a few players they could sign.