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Can UDFA OLB James Lockhart find a way onto the Steelers roster?

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Breaking down every player one-by-one alphabetically on the Steelers current 90-man roster

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Moving along to part 53 of our 90-part series — 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.

Let’s take a look at the former Baylor Bear:

James Lockhart

Position: OLB
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 263 lbs
College: Baylor
Draft: UDFA in 2020


2019 stats (NCAA)

31 Tackles
8.5 Tackles for Loss
6 Sacks
1 Forced Fumble
1 Fumble Recovery


Contract remaining

Expires in 2022
$612,833 salary cap number (0.31% of total cap)
$2,833 Dead money
$610,000 Savings if cut


Likelihood of making the roster

Unlikely. The 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker room is loaded and the depth chart goes as followed:

Starters: T.J. Watt & Bud Dupree
Primary Back-up: Alex Highsmith
Depth: Tuzar Skipper & Olasunkanmi Adeniyi

Lockhart will have to push out either of the Toledo alumni to win a spot on the team, and considering the Steelers went out of their way to bring Skipper back plus Adeniyi is heading into his third season with the team, it won't be an easy task for Lockhart.


2020 projection

The shortened training camp will hamstring any shot Lockhart would have at making this team. If Lockhart impresses he should get a shot at the practice squad, and get another shot in 2021. I just don't see Lockhart making an impact for this team in 2020.


Projected stats:

N/A — Cut


Summary

The Steelers are loaded at outside linebacker and the unit is definitely an area of strength. This is great for us fans but terrible for someone trying to crack the roster. Covid-19 took an already Herculean task and made it virtually impossible for Lockhart to make this team. It will be interesting to see how much playing time Lockhart gets in whatever will be left of the 2020 preseason, as Highsmith, Skipper, and Adeniyi will all get/need a ton of reps. I hope this kid gets another shot next year.


Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett
John Battle
Jordan Berry
Saeed Blacknall
Breon Borders
Chris Boswell
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Isaiah Buggs
Devin Bush
Deon Cain
Kam Canaday
Chase Claypool
Josiah Coatney
James Conner
Anthony Coyle
Jordan Dangerfield
Amara Darboh
Carlos Davis
David DeCastro
Christian DiLauro
Kevin Dotson
Bud Dupree
Eric Ebron
Terrell Edmunds
Trey Edmunds
Matt Feiler
Minkah Fitzpatrick
Zach Gentry
Ulysees Gilbert III
Derwin Gray
Joe Haden
J.C. Hassenauer
Quadree Henderson
Dewayne Hendrix
Cam Heyward
Alex Highsmith
Mike Hilton
Devlin Hodges
John Houston
Anthony Johnson
Diontae Johnson
Jarron Jones
John Keenoy
Tyree Kinnel
Christian Kuntz
Justin Layne
Leo Lewis