All 90 is a Pittsburgh Steelers Now series profiling each of the 90 members of the Steelers 2021 offseason roster.
87 • Kevin Rader, first-year tight end
6-foot-4, 250 pounds
Acquired: Signed by the Steelers as street free agent on Jan. 9, 2019. Re-signed with the team in 2020 and 2021.
Last season: Rader was waived at the end of training camp and added to the practice squad roster. He was added to the active roster on Nov. 24 after an injury to Zach Gentry, but waived on Dec. 21 and placed back on the practice squad.
Rader was elevated from the practice squad to participate in the Week 17 game at Cleveland, and he made an impact, making three tackles on special teams. He was also activated for the playoff game.
Career: Rader signed with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2018 but was released at the end of training camp.
He first signed with the Steelers in January 2019, and was again cut at the outset of training camp, but spent most of the season on the team’s practice squad.
College: Started out as a defensive lineman at Youngstown State, but moved to tight end and became a starter by his redshirt junior season in 2016. At the end of that year, he made a one-handed catch in the back of the end zone with one second remaining to send YSU over Eastern Washington in the FCS national semifinals.
Rader caught 22 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns as senior in 2017,
Camp outlook: Rader will hope to turn the momentum from the late-season expansion of his role into something more in 2021.
With Gentry back from his injury, those two players will be in a battle for the No. 3 tight end spot, with the loser likely headed to the practice squad.
Future: Rader will be an exclusive rights free agent after the season.
The rest of the 90: