The 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers roster appears to be set in stone. But the organization could choose to bring in veteran players at a couple of different positions. The team didn’t completely address it’s safety, middle linebacker, nose tackle, or running back positions either early in the draft or through any other options. While the team did draft some players in the later rounds, it’s hard to expect them to make big impacts in year one especially because the coronavirus pandemic is limiting how much time they’ll be able to practice with the club.
Let’s take a look at a few names who are still available that could fill some positions of need.
The former Dolphins safety is still without a home after Miami placed him on the Reserved/Injured List with an undisclosed injury. The veteran free safety can slot in behind former Dolphins teammate, Minkah Fitzpatrick and can provide depth to the position. While normally teams wouldn't bring in a 32 year-old to provide depth and play special teams, Jones’ case is a bit different.
Minkah Fitzpatrick recently said on a zoom interview that he’s willing to move around positions for the Steelers defence. If the team wants to shift Fitzpatrick around then they'll need to be able to fill the hole he leaves behind. Enter Reshad Jones, who has played at a Pro Bowl level throughout his career. Jones can provide quality snaps and the ability to start should anything terrible happen.
The Steelers have addressed the running back position in four consecutive drafts, all in hopes of replacing Le’Veon Bell. While the unit is extremely young, they have recently shown some injury concerns. Much like when the Steelers added DeAngelo Williams, the Steelers could bring in a vet to both pick up a start here and there and to secondly provide veteran leadership to the group.
Devonta Freeman can be that guy. While also battling injury problems of his own, the Steelers wouldn't need the long time Falcon to shoulder the load over a 16-game season. Instead he could be added into a rotation designed to get some combination of James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell Jr., and Anthony McFarland through the regular season.
Damon “Snacks” Harrison Sr.
The Steelers D-Line is virtually set and loaded with depth, however the team doesn't really feature an adequate pure nose tackle. Sure, Chris Wormley is listed as a nose tackle, but he’s built more like a 3-4 defensive end and shouldn't get further inside the tackles then at 3 technique. Daniel McCullers looks like a nose tackle, however it may be time for the organization to look elsewhere. Because McCullers hasn’t shown much over six seasons on the team, I'm not sure what he could possibly bring in year seven.
Snacks Harrison not only looks the part, but plays it too. Harrison is coming off a season where he played in 15 games and provided 49 tackles, and 2 sacks from his defensive tackle position. The 31 year old can line up at nose in short yardage scenarios and can be a play a part in replacing the loss of Javon Hargrave.
The Steelers never actually went out and acquired an inside backer of any sorts. This despite losing both Tyler Matakevich and Mark Barron. Regardless of what you think of this pairing, losing the number two and number four backer, in terms of snaps, is going to hurt.
While it seems the team is high on Ulysees Gilbert III as the positions number three guy, I think it would be wise to add another burner in Nigel Bradham. A unit of Devin Bush, Vince Williams, Gilbert, and Bradham seems scary to me, and each member could make an impact on specials if needed (sans Bush, but he’d still be a beast if called upon).
What do you think should the Steelers chase any of the names listed above? Or do you think this team is good the way it already is? Either way let us know down in the comments!