Senquez Golson, the Steelers second round pick out of Mississippi, certainly won't be cut during his rookie training camp. After all, second round picks have what you would call immunity for at least a couple of training camps and seasons.
However, opening up on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list for any rookie--even a second round pick--probably isn't how you want to start your NFL career. Golson was one of five players to open camp on the PUP list with a shoulder injury that may or may not be serious, according to head coach Mike Tomlin: "We'll see. He's not good enough to go. I'll give you an update when I get it."
Again, being a second round pick, Golson isn't going anywhere anytime soon. But those fourth round picks, they aren't always given as much slack (Fred Gibson, anyone?). This may especially be the case when the player drafted two spots ahead of you plays the exact same position.
Such is the case for Doran Grant, the Steelers fourth round pick out of Ohio State, who, like Golson, was drafted by the Steelers with an eye towards improving their much-maligned secondary.
Much-maligned or not, however, you have to assume William Gay will start at one spot in 2015 and Antwon Blake certainly did enough for himself last year to open camp with at least a roster spot firmly in his grasp. You throw in Golson's rookie immunity as well as the huge contract given to Cortez Allen last summer (he didn't perform even close to well in 2014, but money is money), and that's four corner spots right off the bat that may already be spoken for, weeks before the first cuts are made.
But the great thing about training camp is there's no substitute for reps and putting yourself on tape. Tomlin has often said what a young player does in training camp is equally or even more important than what he does in preseason games in-terms of the overall evaluation. With that in mind, Grant now has a chance to make some noise very early on, what with Golson out of action.
What helps Grant in this case is that he seems almost equal to Golson with regards to his draft profile--similar overall grade, similar speed, similar height--and both players were projected to be selected around the third round by NFL.com.
In-terms of hype and discussions, though, Grant seems almost forgotten in this year's class (again, he plays a position that was already addressed two spots ahead of where he was drafted). But, now, at least very early in camp, Grant has a chance to make a name for himself and get people talking. And if those people are coaches--primarily the head guy--and they have nothing but good things to say about him, that figures to enhance his rookie portfolio.
The chances of Grant getting cut are fairly slim, but it never hurts for a fourth round pick to build up some extra immunity, just in case.