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Will Kalen Ballage add enough to the Steelers running back room to earn a roster spot?

Day 2 of the Steelers Trifecta! Featuring Abdullah Anderson, Kalen Ballage, and Zach Banner

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Minicamp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Steelers Trifecta! Over the 30 days leading up to the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 training camp, we will be highlighting three players every day in order cover the entire 90-man offseason roster. So without further ado, here are today’s three players:


Abdullah Anderson

NFL: AUG 08 Preseason - Panthers at Bears Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Position: Defensive Tackle
Age: 25
Year: 3
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 295
Drafted: UDFA 2019 (Chicago Bears)
College: Bucknell
Roster Outlook: Outside looking in
Analysis:

Despite having two years of NFL experience (six games in Chicago in 2019 and one game in Minnesota in 2020), Anderson has a long road ahead to make the Steelers 53-man roster. Returning all their defensive tackles from last season in which they carried one more than usual, the Steelers also traded into the fifth round in 2021 to draft another. With multiple players who have logged snaps with the Steelers possibly not making a squad, Anderson is going to have to really turn heads to land on the 53 or even the practice squad.


Kalen Ballage

New England Patriots v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Position: Running Back
Age: 25
Year: 5
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 231
Drafted: 2018, Round 4, Pick 131 (Miami Dolphins)
College: Arizona St.
Roster Outlook: Bubble
Analysis:

The reception of Ballage by Steelers’ Nation is either burning hot or ice cold as he’s played for three different NFL teams in three seasons. Most fans either believe he will finally be a key piece to give depth to the Steelers running back room or that he’s just another camp body and nothing really special. Listed as a bubble player, pretty much all the Steelers reserve running backs fall into this category as training camp and the preseason will ultimately be the test in bringing the cream to the top. If Ballage offers something none of the other backs can give, his chances of making the team will continue to grow.


Zach Banner

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Giants Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Position: Offensive Tackle
Age: 27
Year: 6
Height: 6’8”
Weight: 335
Drafted: 2017, Round 4, Pick 137 (Indianapolis Colts)
College: USC
Roster Outlook: Lock
Analysis:

While most believe Zach Banner will be the starting right tackle for the Steelers come Week 1, there are still other possibilities. Perhaps he ends up at left tackle, and perhaps he ends up not in the starting lineup. The key to Banner’s season hinges on the strength and agility of his surgically repaired knee. Even if it takes time for Banner to get back to form, it shouldn’t affect his “roster lock” status barring an injury designation.


Be sure to check back everyday for anther ‘trifecta’ of Steelers, and as we go along click back on previous articles listed below so you don’t miss a thing.