As the Pittsburgh Steelers move toward training camp in Latrobe next week, they recently had one roster spot open up due to the retirement of Daniel Archibong.
Having a spot to fill on the defensive line, the Pittsburgh Steelers recently worked out five players, all of which appeared in the USFL in 2022. This per ESPN’s Field Yates:
As training camps inch closer, the Steelers tried out five players who played in the USFL this year:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 18, 2022
* DT Doug Costin
* DE Freedom Akinmoladun
* DT Domenique Davis
* DT Dondrea Tillman
* DT Willie Yarbary
For those who did not follow the USFL or are not familiar with any of these names, here is a brief description of each player:
Undrafted in 2020 out of Miami of Ohio, Doug Costin was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars and spent the 2020 season on the active roster where he started nine games and had 32 tackles. In 2021, Costin did not make the active roster but was signed to the practice squad and was elevated for one game. Costin was also signed to the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad for one week during the 2021 postseason. Costin played for the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL in 2022.
Undrafted in 2019 out of Nebraska, Freedom Akinmoladun signed with the New York Giants. Failing to make the team, Akinmoladun landed on the practice squad but was released in November. Landing on Cincinnati’s practice squad a week later, Akinmoladun was promoted to the active roster where he appeared in two games in 2019. Failing to make the Bengals roster in 2020, he landed on the practice squad and was elevated twice during the 2020 season. Waived during training camp in 2021, Akinmoladun was claimed off waivers by the Tennessee Titans but was waived five days later. At the end of the 2021 season Akinmoladun was signed by the New York Jets and appeared in one game. For his career, Akinmoladun has appeared in five NFL games with four tackles. He spent the 2022 USFL season as a member of the Philadelphia Stars.
Undrafted in 2020 out of UNC-Pembroke, Domenique Davis was signed by the New York Jets following the draft. Unfortunately, Davis was waived at the beginning of training camp when he failed his entry physical. Davis spent the 2022 USFL season with the Houston Gamblers.
Not picked up by any NFL team in 2020, Dondrea Tillman played collegiately at the University of Indiana in Pennsylvania. Playing in The Spring League with the Conquerors in 2021, Tillman played with the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL in 2022.
Undrafted out of Wake Forest in 2019, Willie Yarbary spent time in the Atlanta Falcons training camp but did not make the team. Yarbary went on to play briefly with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL and played in The Spring League in 2020 before playing for the Massachusetts Pirates of the Indoor Football League. Landing in the training camp of the Los Angeles Chargers in 2021, Yarbary did not make the team and played with the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL in 2022.
The Steelers have yet to announce which, if any, of these players they will add to their 90-man roster. While there is no reason the Steelers have to fill the spot with another defensive lineman, it appears at this time they are intent on taking a certain number of players on the D-line to Latrobe in preparation for the 2022 regular season.