PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are one week through OTAs, and while there has been little to no roster movement made just yet, all of the undrafted free agents and lower roster players are starting to make their impressions on the Steelers coaching staff. However, are there a few that could stand out above the rest? Here are a few sleepers that could gain buzz over the offseason.
RB Alfonzo Graham
Graham makes the list first after a solid first week. His quickness and agility is there, but his ability to learn fast should make fans intrigued at the possibility of Graham really pushing for this RB3 spot. With return experience as well, Graham as roster versatility to add to the room. The tape is solid, too. Graham offers more a home run hitter type that Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren are not.
His experience around the college football landscape will only help him as he gets into the nitty gritty of the playbook and offseason program. The pads still need to go on, but for now, Graham looks like a decent find out of rookie minicamp.
OLB David Perales
Another standout based on the tape and production is David Perales. When it came to which UDFA had the best chance to push for a roster spot, I pointed to Perales as a guy who I think could push for the last spot at OLB. I still see it that way, as Perales has a fantastic motor and an array of pass rush moves that will aid him well in his early career.
The effort he puts into every practice is commendable and will catch the eye of coaches, I’m sure. Once the pads go on, Perales will have to prove himself as a polished pass rusher with quick learning experience on special teams, but I think he’s fully capable of that.
DB Elijah Riley
In the defensive back room, most of the spots are decided already. However, there’s still spots to work for on the safety depth chart. In his career, Riley has slot cornerback experience, too, giving him plenty of value on top of his special teams experience.
Riley has been in Pittsburgh long enough now to master the playbook. When it comes to those practice squad guys, it can be easy to forget them, but Riley is someone who should be paid attention to with the attributes he brings to the table. When he has played, Riley has done well. He now has an opportunity to push for a roster spot.
DL Breiden Fehoko
One of the top battles of the offseason will be the nose tackle position. While Keeanu Benton is one of the guaranteed one of the spots, the other is wide open. A signing that went under the radar is former Chargers NT Breiden Fehoko. But as a pure run stopper with a lot of pluses on early downs, Fehoko checks a lot of boxes.
His tape with the Chargers shows his ability to deconstruct double teams and be a force in that part of the game. In a game that moves ever closer to Cover 2 being the dominant coverage type, Fehoko is a valuable player to have, and should be a serious contender for a roster spot there.