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Steelers work out 4 defenders ahead of Week 1 matchup

The Steelers’ latest tryouts include a LB with over 100 tackles last year and a CB who holds the second-fastest 40-time in NFL Combine history.

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Mykal Walker (3) in action against the Cleveland Browns in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers have worked out LB Mykal Walker, OLB Mitchell Agude, OLB Kelle Sanders, and CB Kalon Barnes per NFL insider Aaron Wilson.

Walker was a fourth-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Fresno State. The 6’3, 230-pound linebacker ran a 4.65-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. In 2022, Walker recorded 107 total tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, and 6 passes defended in 16 games played. Mykal struggled with injury during 2023’s training camp and was waived by Atlanta on August 13. He was picked up by the Chicago Bears for the remainder of the preseason but was released by the team during final cutdowns.

Agude was an undrafted free agent in the 2023 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami. As a Hurricane in 2022, Agude recorded 39 total tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. The 6’4, 245-pound edge rusher ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash at his pro day. Agude signed with the Miami Dolphins for the 2023 offseason but was released on August 28 during cutdowns.

Sanders signed with the Baltimore Ravens as a UDFA in 2023. The former UAB edge rusher logged 36 total tackles, 3 sacks, and 1 pass defended in 2022. The 6’6, 255-pound defender was featured on the third season of Netflix’s Last Chance U prior to joining the UAB roster. Sanders was cut by the Ravens on August 28 as Baltimore reduced their roster.

Barnes, the lone cornerback on this list, was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Baylor. In his final collegiate season, Barnes recorded 23 total tackles, 5 passes defensed, and 1 interception. The 6’0, 186-pound corner holds the second-fastest 40-yard dash in NFL Combine history, running the event in 4.23 seconds in 2022. Since being drafted, Barnes has bounced around the league, spending time with the Dolphins and most recently the Vikings.

With the Steelers’ current linebacker and cornerback rooms looking set ahead of the 2023 season opener, their latest tryouts will have a hard time being added to the team’s 53-man roster. However, with the regular season’s expected injuries, it’s important for the Steelers to be looking ahead at potential depth signings.