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Steelers sign 17 players to reserve/futures contracts

Pittsburgh begins to add offseason signings to their roster.

Denzel Mims #11 of the New York Jets warms up prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on December 05, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The Steelers began to construct their offseason roster today, announcing the signings of 17 players to reserve/future contracts. Many of the players listed have been on Pittsburgh’s practice squad this season or previously worked out for the team.

You can view the entire list below:

Wide receivers Marquez Callaway, Dez Fitzpatrick, Keilahn Harris, Denzel Mims, and Duece Watts.

Running back Aaron Shampklin and fullback Jack Colletto.

Offensive linemen Tyler Beach, Kellen Diesch, Joey Fisher, Devery Hamilton, Anderson Hardy, and Ryan McCollum.

Defensive linemen Jonathan Marshall and Jacob Slade.

Safety Jalen Elliott and cornerback Luq Barcoo.

There’s a clear emphasis at the wide receiver and offensive line positions, which are important groups to have depth at during the offseason.

Marquez Callaway is the biggest name out of the players on the list, as the former Saints receiver has recorded 83 catches for 1,069 receiving yards and seven touchdowns over his NFL career, appearing in 42 games from 2020-22. The 6’2, 204-pound wideout spent the 2023 season on the Raiders and Saints’ practice squads. Callaway ran a 4.55-second 40-yard-dash entering the draft in 2020, where he went undrafted. With the Saints, he had some reps as a returner, with 14 career punt returns and four career kickoff returns.

Dez Fitzpatrick recorded some special teams snaps with the Steelers during the 2023 season. The 6’2, 208-pound receiver has five career catches for 49 receiving yards and one touchdown at the NFL level. Fitzpatrick played college football at Louisville and was drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Keilahn Harris was worked out by the Steelers in Week 17 this season. The former Falcons wide receiver stands at 5’10, 180-pounds and played for Oklahoma Baptist in 2022, recording 80 catches for 1,050 yards and seven touchdowns.

Denzel Mims was signed to the Steelers’ practice squad in October. Here’s what we wrote about him then:

Mims was a popular name among Steeler fans when he entered the draft in 2020. The 6’3, 207-pound receiver ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. In his final season at Baylor, Mims recorded 66 catches for 1,020 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Mims was drafted by the New York Jets with the 59th overall pick, just 10 selections after the Steelers selected Chase Claypool out of Notre Dame. As a rookie, Mims recorded 23 receptions for 357 yards and no touchdowns. He has yet to have a better season, failing to record over 200 receiving yards in both 2021 and 2022. He was traded to the Detroit Lions in July for a conditional 2025 seventh-rounder, but was waived/injured by the team a month later.

Like Mims, Duece Watts was also a Steelers practice squad signing earlier this season. Here’s what we wrote about him when he signed:

Watts was an undrafted free agent following the 2023 NFL Draft, signing with the Green Bay Packers. In his final collegiate season at Tulane, he recorded 33 catches for 657 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns, being primarily known as a deep threat. His career totals at the NCAA level include 85 catches for 1,500 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns, averaging a whopping 17.6 yards per catch over his three years at Tulane. The 6’2, 200-pound receiver ran a 4.59-second 40-yard dash at his pro day.

Watts spent the 2023 preseason with the Packers but was released during final roster cutdowns. As a free agent, he tried out for the Steelers on September 12.

The Steelers worked out running back Aaron Shampklin in August. You can read our scouting report on him:

Shampklin signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2022 after going undrafted out of Harvard. In his final college season, Shampklin rushed for 842 yards and 11 touchdowns, punctuated with an impressive 5.6 yards per carry. He also posted 16 catches for 117 yards and a touchdown, finishing the year with All-Ivy League First Team honors.

The Cowboys waived Shampklin with an injury settlement in September of 2022. The 5’10, 195-pound running back has since been a member of the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad, and most recently the USFL’s Houston Gamblers.

Fullback Jack Colletto was signed to the Steelers’ practice squad on October 9. The former Oregon State athlete was a fan-favorite due to his versatility, with Colletto operating as a fullback, short-yardage runner, tight end, quarterback, special teams ace, and linebacker during his time as a Beaver. The 6’3, 237-pound jack-of-all trades recorded a number of stats over his career college, including 110 carries for 401 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns, four catches for 37 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown, and a passing stat line of 25/50 for 250 yards, no touchdowns, and three interceptions.

Defensively, Colletto recorded 51 total tackles, two forced fumbles, and an interception over his college career. He went undrafted in 2023 but was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers before landing with the Steelers.

As for the offensive linemen, Tyler Beach played college football at Wisconsin. The 6’6, 290-pound lineman started nine games in 2022 at both guard and tight end. He was an All-Big Ten honorable mention by coaches in 2021.

Kellen Diesch was signed to the Steelers practice squad in August. Here’s what we wrote about him then:

Diesch was signed by the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2022. The 6’7, 301-pound tackle played college football at Texas A&M and Arizona State. As a Sun Devil in 2021, Diesch was named a second-team all-conference selection. The athletic offensive lineman ran an impressive 4.89-second 40-yard dash at the 2022 NFL Combine. After being waived by the Dolphins, Diesch spent the 2022-23 season on the Chicago Bears’ practice squad.

Joey Fisher is a guard/tackle who played college football at Sheperd. The 6’4, 296-pound lineman went undrafted in 2023 before being signed by the 49ers. He had a stint on the Steelers’ practice squad this season but finished 2023 with the Cleveland Browns. Fisher was a small-school star entering the draft and a favorite of many analysts due to how well he performed at the Senior Bowl and tested as his pro day.

Devery Hamilton played college football at Stanford and Duke, earning starts at both guard and tackle spots over his college career. The 6’6, 311-pound lineman has spent time on the Giants and Raiders’ practice squads.

Anderson Hardy was worked out by the Steelers back in Week 1 of 2023. Here’s what we wrote about him then:

Hardy signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as a UDFA following the 2023 NFL Draft. The 6’6, 290-pound lineman was a tackle at Appalachian State, but many projected him to switch to center at the NFL level. Hardy was released during roster cutdowns on August 29.

Center Ryan McCollum has been with the Steelers since 2022 as a member of the practice squad, playing in the preseason at all three interior linemen positions. The 6’5, 300-pound lineman was elevated to the team’s active roster in Week 5 of 2023. He’s started one game in the 13 he’s played at the NFL level.

Switching to the defensive side of the ball, lineman Jonathan Marshall was a sixth-round pick by the New York Jets in 2021 out of Arkansas. Marshall has appeared in four NFL games, recording two total tackles. The 6’2, 310-pound lineman is a noted raw but high-potential prospect who has been with the Steelers since 2022.

Jacob Slade worked out for the Steelers in September. Here's what we wrote about him then:

Slade went undrafted out of Michigan State in 2023 before signing with the Arizona Cardinals. The 6’3, 293-pound defensive tackle recorded 20 total tackles and 0.5 sacks during his final season as a Spartan. He was released when the Cardinals reduced their roster to 53 players this year.

Safety Jalen Elliott has had a number of stints with the Steelers over the past year. Here’s what we wrote about him back in October:

Elliott signed with the Detroit Lions as a UDFA following the 2020 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame. The 6’1, 205-pound safety appeared in eight games with Lions, recording 12 total tackles and one start. He’s since spent time with the New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders, as well as stints with the Steelers and Houston Roughnecks of the XFL.

Finally, cornerback Luq Barcoo went undrafted in 2020 out of San Diego State. He spent time with various NFL teams and even the XFL before signing with the Steelers for the 2023 offseason, spending most of the year on Pittsburgh’s practice squad. The 6’1, 180-pound corner appeared in three games with the Jaguars in 2020, recording one start, 10 total tackles, a tackle for loss, and a pass defensed.

Make sure to stay tuned to BTSC for updates and analysis as a pivotal Steelers offseason begins.