Thanks to a fantastic idea from a reader we have a new series here at BTSC. There are 90 days until the Steelers' season starts in September. There are also 90 players on the Steelers preseason roster, so why not give an overview of a player a day? These overviews will give you a sense of who each player is, there chance of making the team, and what they could bring to the Steelers. Let's dive in...
Player: Cole Manhart
Overview: There are 11 players on a football field at one time, and 53 members on a roster, so the reality is that some players on the roster are there to be depth personnel that will never be on the field unless there's an injury. With 90 guys in camp there are almost 40 players fighting just to be one of these depth guys.
One such player is Cole Manhart, a former tackle from division II Nebraska Kearney. Manhart was a three-year starter in college before being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Eagles in 2015. He then spent time with the Saints and Raiders before signing a futures contract with the Steelers early this year. Manhart is trying to make the team as a guard which suites his 6'6" 310lb. size more than tackle.
He is noted as being a good athlete when asked to pull or go attack the second level. Unfortunately, his draft profile notes he struggles in pass protection and certain zone blocking schemes, two things that NFL players must be good at. With B.J. Finney and even Chris Hubbard still in camp, I don't think Manhart has a great shot at making the roster, barring injury. However, in the same breath I am going to say never count an NFL prospect out until they are officially released. If you don't are tempted to you can just look at some of Manhart's potential teammates like James Harrison and Antonio Brown who were also once lightly regarded prospects trying to make the 53-man roster as some depth players.
Athletic enough to get to the second level to block
Played some tight end in short yardage situations
Plays to the whistle
Level of competition faced
Lateral movement not as good as others
Can be overpowered by NFL players-needs to add strength
Zone technique needs work
Poor pass protecting technique
Chances of Making the team: 20%