Football is back, y’all! There is nothing like knowing football is on the horizon, and Steelers fans across the globe could not be more excited. As we countdown the days until the Steelers take on the Seahawks in Week 1 of the NFL Preseason, let’s take a look at who could lock up a roster spot with a good performance.
The most interesting battles to watch in the first game may be in the wide receiver room, simply because of the incredible depth at the position. There are quality receivers the Steelers will be forced to part with before the season begins, but how many of them will there be? Do the Steelers keep, say, seven receivers? That seems highly unlikely, but there are at least eight receivers that have a valid argument to make the roster. Making a final decision on who is cut will be incredibly difficult for the Steelers front office and coaching staff.
Quarterback will steal the most spotlight, although it seems highly unlikely we see anyone other than Mitch Trubisky Week 1. The biggest battle, in my opinion, is the fight for QB3. Mason Rudolph has been lighting it up in training camp, but if the Steelers try to stash Chris Oladokun on the practice squad, the rookie is unlikely to hang around long-term, considering multiple teams in the league showed interest in him during the pre-draft process. He would likely be claimed by a team who suffers an early-season quarterback injury.
The point being, there are many directions I could have gone here. However, below are the three players I believe are most likely secure a roster spot with a strong performance on Saturday.
Nobody took advantage of the absences of Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson more than Anthony Miller, who has put together an amazing camp. The other factor working in his favor is his chemistry with Mitch Trubisky, having played with him in Chicago. Nobody can deny Miller’s talent, and after a career reset, he may be ready to live up to the high expectations many of us expected from him coming out of college. However, an actual preseason game is a better way to gauge his improvement than a padded practice. A big game almost definitively saves him a spot on the Steelers 2022 roster.
When it comes to depth, the Steelers defensive line is the wide receiver position of the defense. Everywhere you look, there is a quality defensive lineman who deserves a shot to make the roster. Larry Ogunjobi, Tyson Alualu, and Cameron Heyward should lead one of the best defensive lines in football, but one of the Steelers newer members can make a case that he deserves playing time as well. Montravius Adams gave the Steelers a needed mid-season boost when brought in last season, and he is the type of interior lineman the team needs to keep around, especially with Alualu’s injury and age concerns. Pencil him in as a primary backup with a strong game on Saturday. Here is hoping he plays Saturday after suffering an ankle injury Tuesday.
The guard position has gotten quite a bit of attention this year, from the signing of James Daniels, to the position transition of Kendrick Green, to the conditioning concerns of Kevin Dotson. However, one of the few bright spots on the offensive line last season was the growth of John Leglue. The Steelers have found many late round and undrafted gems along the offensive line throughout the years, and Leglue may be the next one in that long line of success. An undrafted free agent in 2019, Leglue seems to have gotten stronger, more coordinated, and more physical since his landing in Pittsburgh, and a strong first impression in the preseason will go a long way toward his chances of securing a roster spot.
Which Steelers do you see locking up a roster spot this Saturday? Which position will you be paying the most attention to? Be sure to share your thoughts on this and all things Pittsburgh Steelers in the comment section below!