The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up the 2018 NFL Draft with their seven draft picks, but like all NFL teams they were far from done adding talent to their 90-man offseason roster. No, when Day 3 hits teams start calling potential undrafted free agents to see if they would like to come to Pittsburgh to get a shot at making the team.
The truly unique aspect of this process is undrafted free agents are just that — free agents.
While they won’t make the same amount of money as drafted players, they can pick and choose where they want to play. If a player has to choose between the Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, they can look at the team, the roster and make their decision based on where they think they will have a better chance to succeed.
The problem with this is no one except the ridiculous draftniks know a lot about these new players. Sure, if you were a fan of the University of Pittsburgh you knew about Quadree Henderson, but if you weren’t a Pitt fan you most likely said, “Who?!”
While ESPN and other major media outlets were handing out draft grades like they were candy on Halloween, I stumbled upon a great article on Bleacher Report where they graded out every NFL team’s Undrafted Free Agent (UDFA) haul after the draft process ended.
See what they had to say about the Steelers’ Undrafted Free Agent haul:
Names to watch: RB Jarvion Franklin, DT Greg Gilmore, CB Jamar Summers
There’s a disconnect between the Pittsburgh Steelers and running back Le’Veon Bell on a long-term deal, hence his franchise tag.
Watch out for Western Michigan product Jarvion Franklin, if the Steelers decide to go with a backfield committee in the near future. He racked up 4,867 rushing yards and 52 touchdowns through four years. At 6’0”, 239 pounds, the big ball-carrier is more likely to run over defenders than dart past them. He could hold in Pittsburgh as a quality one-cut running back who can stay on the field for third downs.
Pittsburgh added a playmaker in cornerback Jamar Summers. He erupted for eight interceptions as a sophomore at Connecticut and returned one for a touchdown. He didn’t reach that level of production in the following seasons but broke up 16 passes in the last two years.
Greg Gilmore projects as a defensive end in the Steelers scheme. The LSU product only experienced one strong campaign, which explains his undrafted status. Nonetheless, 7.5 sacks as senior could translate into production in the pros.
So, the Steelers were able to bring in players who at least stand a chance of staying with the organization, but what about the Steelers’ grade of an A- compared to the rest of the AFC North? The Steelers were second, per the Bleacher Report article, but well ahead of the Bengals and Ravens when it comes to bringing in UDFAs.
Check out the division grades below:
AFC North Grades:
Cleveland Browns: A
Pittsburgh Steelers: A-
Baltimore Ravens: B
Cincinnati Bengals: D
What are your thoughts on the Steelers’ UDFA class? Which players, if any, do you see actually having a shot at making the team’s 53-man roster, or the practice squad? Let us know in the comment section below!