While the Pittsburgh Steelers did not add a safety to the roster via the draft this year, they did increase their numbers at the position with the signing of two undrafted free agents. And with just four veterans safeties currently on the team, the chances of Dravon Askew-Henry or P.J. Locke making the final 53-man roster are arguably much better than they might have been in past years.
Making the transition from the college to the professional ranks is a daunting task for any college prospect, let alone a UDFA, but it would appear that former Texas product Locke may have something of a head start on the competition thanks to the help of a former member of the Black and Gold.
When responding to a post from a fan about Locke on social media, former Steelers safety Ryan Clark revealed that the young prospect had already reached out to him since signing with Pittsburgh, a move that could pay dividends in the long term.
@PjLocke4 Has already reached out to me. I have so much respect for this kid already. Soon as he signed we connected! He is gonna work his butt off. Trust me. Hope he is so much better than I was https://t.co/tGYnOi0smd— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) May 6, 2019
An undrafted free agent himself in 2002 when he signed with the New York Giants as a rookie, Clark should be well positioned to advise Locke in his debut season with the Steelers. His insights into the qualities that Mike Tomlin will be looking to see from the young player should also be invaluable, not to mention the knowledge he can pass on about playing safety in the NFL.
Calling himself a sponge in response to Clark’s post, Locke is clearly eager to learn as much as he can from the Super Bowl XLIII champion, planning to train with him later in the offseason.
You know it big bro! Im a sponge and i will soak up as much knowledge as possible from you. Leaving nothing on the table! & for sure have to set times to come train with you! https://t.co/8sTRdFkJP2— James "PJ" Locke III (@PjLocke4) May 6, 2019
Locke will compete with Askew-Henry, Jordan Dangerfield and Marcus Allen for a backup role behind presumed starters Terrell Edmunds and Sean Davis, with former AAF signings Jack Tocho and Kameron Kelly also likely to be in the mix at safety.