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Can Tuzar Skipper create a role for himself on the 2020 Steelers defense?

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

NFL: AUG 03 Steelers Training Camp Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Continuing with part 71 of our 80-part (Give or take 10...) 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 check out second year, back-up linebacker:

Tuzar Skipper

Position: OLB
Height: 6’ 3”
Weight: 246 lbs
College: Toledo
Draft: UDFA in 2019


2019 stats

6 Games played (all for the New York Giants)
3 Tackles
0.5 Sacks
1 Fumble recovery
1 QB hit


Contract remaining

Expires in 2022
$675,000 salary cap number (.3% of total cap)
$0 Dead money
$675,000 Savings if cut


Likelihood of making the roster

Probable. The Steelers currently only have six outside linebackers on its current roster. Those being: T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Alex Highsmith, Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, James Lockhart, and Skipper. The organization typically brings nine total linebackers with them into the regular season, and only three inside linebackers are locks to make this team (Devin Bush, Vince Williams, and Ulysees Gilbert III). If the Steelers end up cutting James Lockhart then Skipper will be a virtual lock on the main roster.


2020 projection

The overwhelming majority of outside linebacker snaps will be given to Watt, Dupree, and 2020 third round pick, Alex Highsmith. Skipper, and fellow Toledo alum Adeniyi will be asked to take a special teams based role, as well as a few defensive snaps here and there. I don’t expect much out of Tuzar as a pass rusher but he can make an impact in other ways.


Projected stats:

14 Games played
10 Tackles
0 Sacks


Summary

The Steelers outside linebacker group is one of the strongest units not only on the Steelers team, but in the entire NFL. T.J. Watt will again flirt with the Defensive Player of the Year award, Bud Dupree can again put up double digit sacks, Alex Highsmith can leave a strong impression in his rookie season, and both Tuzar Skipper and Ola Adeniyi can provide solid depth, and special teams snaps.

Moving in the 2021 season, Skipper could find himself as the organizations third outside linebacker and will be called upon more heavily on the defensive side of the football. Skipper needs to put up a solid sophomore campaign to prove himself worthy of the promotion.


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
Anthony Johnson
Diontae Johnson
Jarron Jones
John Keenoy
Tyree Kinnel
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