Part 9 of the Pittsburgh Steelers A-to-Z continues on — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete— which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.
Part 9 of the series will the a look at our first former XFL player:
Height: 6’ 3”
Weight: 212 lbs
College: Penn State
Draft: UDFA in 2018
2019 stats (XFL)
3 Games played
Expires in 2020
$610,000 salary cap number (0.3% of total cap)
$0 dead money
$610,000 cap savings if cut
Likelihood of making the roster
Not likely. The Steelers receiving core is brimming with talent, which will make it tough for the Penn State alum to crack the final roster. Check out the list of guys ahead of him:
While Switzer might be the first name that jumps out at you who Blacknall could surpass, I would suggest the player he's really competing against is fellow speedster Deon Cain. Ryan Switzer is just a different type of player (and he’s Ben Roethlisberger’s buddy). The team will only carry so many deep threats so this one feels like Cain vs Blacknall with “two dogs, one bone” possibly being the narative. Cain has the experience, so I’d put my money on Blacknall falling just short.
If Blacknall is able to make the team I wouldn't expect a lot from him. He might snag a ball here and there, but I don't think the Steelers would use him in the Johnny Holton role of simply throwing him a deep ball once a game. It would be more like once every 3 games should he be active on game day after squeezing on the roster. Theirs just too many mouths to feed, and too much depth ahead of him to realistically expect anything more than a catch or two.
N/A - I don't see an easy path where he makes the team
Blacknall is one of those interesting XFL players. I have a sneaky suspicion that one of those guys might actually make some sort of impact with the team. Unfortunately for Blacknall, it probably won't be him. There are just too many obsticales working against him. Maybe he can surprise us.