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Is UDFA Calvin Taylor the Steelers’ answer at nose tackle?

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

Toledo v Kentucky Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Continuing with part 78 of our 90ish-part series — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete — which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man (now 80-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 Steelers tallest player:

Calvin Taylor

Position: DE
Height: 6’ 9”
Weight: 310 lbs
College: Kentucky
Draft: UDFA in 2020


2019 Stats (NCAA)

13 Games played
8.5 Sacks
36 Tackles
9.5 Tackles for loss
4 Passes defended
3 Forced fumbles


Contract remaining

Expires in 2021
$610,000 salary cap number (.3% of total cap)
$3,333 Dead money
$606,667 Savings if cut


Likelihood of making the roster

Doubtful. The Steelers defensive line is virtually set in stone. Except for one spot which will see an open competition. Thats the spot of seventh year pro Dan McCullers. Somehow McCullers just finds a way to make this team year in and year out as nothing more than a depth defensive tackle. This year it might be time to go in another direction. The two names that will push McCullers for the position are former XFLer Cavon Walker and the 6’ 9” Calvin Taylor.

Taylor is even taller than Big Dan but he’s not really built like an interior defensive lineman. Taylor will have a hard time making this team outright and is a more likely suitor for the practice squad.


2020 projection

I don’t think there's a spot for Taylor on the 2020 Steelers 53-man roster. That being said his shear size might be enough to convince the coaching staff to give him a shot on the practice squad. You can't teach size, and Taylor has tons of it. The Kentucky alum has had more success the further outside that he has played, and with both Cameron Heyward and Chris Wormley becoming free agents after this season there might be a spot available for Taylor in 2021.


Projected stats:

N/A — Practice squad


Summary

The Steelers defensive line is full of top tier veterans, who's spots on the team are basically set in stone. Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu, and Wormley will garner the majority of playing time anyway, which renders whoever else makes the roster a back up/role player.

A year on the practice squad might do Taylor some good, and he can get another crack at the roster again in 2021.


Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett -Cut
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 -Cut
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 -Cut
Dewayne Hendrix -Cut
Cam Heyward
Alex Highsmith
Mike Hilton
Devlin Hodges
John Houston -Cut
Anthony Johnson
Diontae Johnson
Jarron Jones
John Keenoy
Tyree Kinnel -Cut
Christian Kuntz -Cut
Justin Layne
Leo Lewis
James Lockhart
Paxton Lynch
Dan McCullers
Vance McDonald
Anthony McFarland Jr.
Henry Mondeaux
Christian Montano -Cut
Alexander Myres
Steven Nelson
Spencer Nigh
Chuks Okorafor
James Pierre
Maurkice Pouncey
Kevin Rader
Dax Raymond
Ben Roethlisberger
Mason Rudolph
Jaylen Samuels
Tuzar Skipper
Wendall Smallwood
Juju Smith-Schuster
Benny Snell Jr.
Robert Spillane
Cameron Sutton
Ryan Switzer