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Does UDFA cornerback James Pierre have a chance of making the Steelers roster?

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

NCAA Football: Air Force at Florida Atlantic Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Moving along with part 64 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 UDFA defensive back:

James Pierre

Position: DB
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 185 lbs
College: Florida Atlantic
Draft: UDFA in 2020


2019 stats (NCAA)

13 Games played
43 Tackles
4.5 Tackles for loss
3 Interceptions
4 Passes defended


Contract remaining

Expires in 2022
$610,000 salary cap number (0.3% of total cap)
$0 Dead money
$610,000 Savings if cut


Likelihood of making the roster

None. Pierre is on the outside looking in at both corner and at safety. The Steelers will take no more than 6 corners into the season with them and those spots look to be held down by the following.

Joe Haden
Steven Nelson
Mike Hilton
Cameron Sutton
Justin Layne
Trajan Bandy/Breon Borders

It will be tough just to make the training camp roster for Pierre, but if he can make it too camp he’ll need to prove to be an outstanding special teams player to earn a spot on the team.


2020 projection

Unfortunately the Covid-19 pandemic might end the NFL dreams of many athletes before any camp begins. This may be the case with Pierre. On the surface the best case scenario appears to be earning a spot on the practice squad.


Projected stats:

N/A - Cut


Summary

The Steelers secondary is a point of strength for this team. That is great for overall success, but a tough task for an undrafted player to make the team. It’s an unfortunate reality, but I believe outside of Trajan Bandy the UDFAs probably have little hope of making this team. But with the practice squad now expanded to 16 for the season, there is more of a chance for guys to be considered than in previous years.


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
James Lockhart
Paxton Lynch
Dan McCullers
Vance McDonald
Anthony McFarland Jr.
Henry Mondeaux
Christian Montano
Alexander Myres
Steven Nelson
Spencer Nigh
Chuks Okorafor