After the Pittsburgh Steelers selected nine players in the 2021 NFL draft, they continued to adding to the roster with eight undrafted free agents. With many draft profiles focusing on those players towards the top and middle of the NFL draft, it is time to get to take a look at these other members of the Pittsburgh Steelers who will have just as much opportunity to make the roster in 2021 as those who were selected in the draft, despite the more difficult path.
Remember, some draft profiles for these players are quite harsh as they are looking at them as a draftable prospect. Taking a flyer on an UDFA is a completely different story as many times the potential the player shows is what lands them on an NFL offseason roster.
Next on the list is inside/outside linebacker Calvin Bundage.
Missing all of the 2019 season due to injury, Calvin Bundage received recommendations from doctors to not return to football. Overcoming his back injury, Bundage played 10 games his senior year at Oklahoma State where he notched 20 tackles, 8.5 of which were for loss, 7.5 sacks, and one pass defensed. In his four years with the Cowboys, Bundage appeared in 40 games with 149 tackles with 23 being for loss, 12.0 sacks, and two passes defensed.
Current Steelers at the position:
- Devin Bush
- Vince Williams
- Robert Spillane
- Buddy Johnson
- Ulysees Gilbert III
- Marcus Allen
- Miles Killebrew
- Tegray Scales
- Jarvis Miller
- Calvin Bundage*
*Played both inside and outside linebacker in college, actual NFL position TBD
Here is a recent breakdown following the 2020 season from si.com:
With major medical questions and an odd style of movement for a linebacker, Bundage is a peculiar player for the position. His feet move a million miles an hour, but he’s a short strider who doesn’t explode with desired burst towards targets. He’s a high-effort player though and his motor is apparent when he is getting after it as a blitzer. He will play hard and process information in a reasonable amount of time and he has the versatility to play both as a traditional off-ball guy or a stand-up rusher off the edge. Bundage does lack stopping power as a tackler and could use some better angles in the run game. With improvements to his technique and timing, he could make his way onto a roster as a depth player and special-teams contributor. He’s a practice-squad level talent who will need to answer some big questions in the process, but he’s not one to count out as a possible steal in undrafted free agency.
Here is a breakdown of Watson from NFL.com:
Linebacker turned designated rusher in the Oklahoma State defensive scheme. Bundage is small as a linebacker and tiny as an edge rusher with a frame that looks more like a box safety. He has dealt with back issues that have slowed him and did a nice job of making himself productive as a pass rusher this past season with eight sacks. Watching him as a linebacker requires a trip back to the 2018 tape and there were issues with diagnosis and key reading too often as a run defender. Size is a major concern moving forward as a pro.
Twitchy trigger to rush downhill from second level.
Plays with pursuit speed from the back side.
Changes tempo to match flow of runner.
Good lateral quickness in 2018 tape.
Able to dart in quickly off the edge.
Found inside spin counter for his rush.
Shows decent bend at the top of the rush.
Sat out all of 2019 with an injury.
Not strong enough playing near the line.
Gets swallowed up when size gets into him.
Doesn’t recognize his keys as linebacker.
Bounced around and unable to hold his ground.
Needs to learn to use hands in his rush.
Cover talent is very average.
Finally, here is one last breakdown from nfldraftbuzz.com:
CALVIN BUNDAGE LB OKLAHOMA STATE DRAFT PROFILE
Intelligent player who can play “MIKE” linebacker despite his lack of size because of his instincts and ability to find the ball in traffic.
Good key and diagnosis skills. Quickly locates the ball and shows no wasted motion in getting there. At least adequate lateral agility to avoid blockers and shows good vision and anticipation.
Reads the quarterback to anticipate and is a candidate to play outside.
Quick to read run, showing good agility and speed to get past blockers and finish. Experienced in coverage and gets a strong jam on outside receivers.
Plays fast, flows with the action, showing smooth lateral agility and short-area burst. Has good instincts and awareness to quickly find the ball.
Attacks the line but needs work on stacking and shedding blocks.
Lacks the strength to blow up fullbacks and bulk/length to prevent getting engulfed by better linemen at the second level.
Can be too hesitant when he doesn’t find the ball immediately.
Must work on using violent hands and defeating cut blocks. Also needs to build a variety of pass-rush moves.
Inconsistent hustle. Only adequate change-of-direction ability. Also loses his balance too often in the open field. Lacks size to bull rush stronger tackles.
To finish off the breakdown of Calvin Bundage, no evaluation is complete without film:
(WARNING: Audio could contain explicit material)