Player News - Steelers

Date: Team: Pos:

Steelers signed second round WR James Washington to a four-year contract.

The 2017 Biletnikoff winner, Washington faded the Combine (4.54 forty, 7.11 three-cone) but gives the Steelers another college producer after their success with JuJu Smith-Schuster. An undersized deep threat, there's some Emmanuel Sanders to Washington's game. With Martavis Bryant gone, Washington should fill the big-play role in Pittsburgh's offense and will compete to start opposite Antonio Brown.
May 11 - 8:35 PM

Steelers signed fifth-round S Marcus Allen and seventh-round DT Joshua Frazier to four-year contracts.

A four-year stat stuffer at Penn State, Allen is Curtis Martin's godson. More of a big hitter than center fielder, Allen will begin his NFL career on special teams. Frazier should be headed to the practice squad.
May 10 - 4:28 PM

Steelers signed fifth round RB Jaylen Samuels to a four-year contract.

Samuels should see heavy offseason reps with Le'Veon Bell in a contract dispute. He'll push James Conner for backup duties.
May 9 - 4:45 PM

Steelers S Sean Davis is anticipating moving to free safety.

Davis played 742 snaps as a rookie last season, primarily at strong safety. He's recovering from shoulder surgery but is expected to be ready for camp. Although he'll move positions in the Steelers' secondary, Davis will again be an every-down player this upcoming season.
May 4 - 12:06 PM

Steelers converted $8.26 million of ILB Ryan Shazier's (back, PUP) base salary into a signing bonus.

Placed on the PUP on Wednesday, Shazier is not going to play in 2018. The Steelers are doing right by him, however, by paying out the final year of his rookie deal in one lump sum. Shazier has said he is targeting 2019 for a return, but it seems unlikely he ever gets back on the field.
May 3 - 9:04 AM

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler believes TE Vance McDonald "will be a big part of the Steelers offense."

Since Jaylen Samuels was announced as a running back, the Steelers did nothing to address their tight end position in the draft, suggesting they are comfortable with McDonald in a starting role. Fowler reports that is the case, writing the organization and Ben Roethlisberger "like his potential with a full year in the system." McDonald struggled to stay healthy last year, but he produced when on the field including 10 catches for 112 yards in the Divisional Round. He has some sleeper appeal.
Apr 30 - 9:40 AM

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said third-round pick Mason Rudolph "was with the group of the top quarterbacks" on their board.

Pittsburgh moved up three spots in the third to get Rudolph, giving up a seventh-round pick in the process. "We didn't want to take that risk," Colbert said. "Mason Rudolph was somebody that we valued as much as the rest of those quarterbacks that were drafted." If this was completely true, Pittsburgh would not have passed on him for a receiver, Rudolph's college teammate James Washington, in the second round, but it at least sounds like the organization believes Rudolph has real starter upside. Despite grumbling about retirement in the past, Ben Roethlisberger reportedly said he plans to play three more seasons.
Source: Penn Live
Apr 30 - 9:18 AM

Steelers signed Western Michigan RB Jarvion Franklin.

Franklin (6’0/239) graduated at the Broncos’ all-time leader in rushing yards (4,867) and all-purpose TDs (56), averaging 5.2 career yards per carry with 61 receptions. Franklin’s had a high college fumble rate and showed sub-par athleticism at the Combine, managing 13th-percentile SPARQ results with 4.63 speed and a 9-foot-1 broad jump. Lacking explosive burst and not particularly physical despite his size, Williams is a long shot for an extended NFL career.
Apr 28 - 10:35 PM

Steelers signed Florida State OLB Matthew Thomas.

Thomas (6’3/232) made 27 career starts for the Seminoles, tallying 20 tackles for loss with three sacks and one forced fumble. An enigmatic underachiever at FSU, Thomas reminded of his five-star recruit athleticism by registering 95th-percentile SPARQ results at the Combine, then blazing a 4.44 forty at the FSU Pro Day. Thomas is purely a height-weight-speed prospect whose shortage of college production and shaky off-field history are significant concerns.
Apr 28 - 10:28 PM

Steelers signed Toledo DE Ola Adeniyi.

Adeniyi (6’2/248) went pro after breaking out as a 2017 redshirt junior, finishing third in the MAC in tackles for loss (20) with a team-high 8.5 sacks. Adeniyi won as a speedy edge rusher for the Rockets, but he tested as a lowly 20th-percentile athlete at the Combine with marginal speed (4.83) and a sluggish 7.21 three-cone time. Adeniyi’s NFL upside is probably a situational edge player and special teamer.
Apr 28 - 10:22 PM

Steelers signed Pittsburgh WR Quadree Henderson.

Henderson (5’8/192) turned pro after three seasons with the Pitt Panthers, logging 45 career catches and 98 rushing attempts as a gadget player on offense. He made his mark on special teams, scoring four kickoff return TDs and three on punt returns. Henderson showed underwhelming speed for his size in Indy, however, running 4.5-flat and testing as a 26th-percentile SPARQ athlete. Unlikely to become an offensive factor in the NFL, Henderson’s ticket to a career will come strictly in the return game.
Apr 28 - 10:16 PM

Steelers selected Alabama DT Joshua Frazier with the No. 246 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Frazier (6’3/321) was a rotational nose tackle throughout his Crimson Tide career, managing 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack as a one-trick-pony run stopper. A massive individual with long arms (34 ¼"), Frazier’s evaluation is more straightforward than any player in this draft. He’ll carry value on early downs and nothing more.
Apr 28 - 6:30 PM

Steelers selected NC State RB Jaylen Samuels with the No. 165 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Samuels (6’0/225) was an all-purpose receiver/tailback/tight end for the Wolfpack, graduating with a career 201/1,851/9.2/19 receiving line and 182/1,107/6.1/12 rushing. He played extensively on special teams. PFF College charted Samuels with 70 career missed tackles forced – 38 on carries and 32 after the catch – and 42 slot receptions in 2017, second most in this year’s tight end class. Samuels helped himself with 68th-percentile SPARQ results at the Combine, including 4.54 speed. Samuels offers similarities to Bears TE Trey Burton as a catch-first weapon in the middle of the field. The Steelers announced Samuels as a running back when they drafted him on Saturday.
Apr 28 - 3:07 PM

Steelers selected Penn State S Marcus Allen with the No. 148 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Allen (6’2/215) made 46 starts in four years with the Nittany Lions, tallying 17 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, and one interception. Allen’s 321 career tackles rank fifth in Penn State history. No relation to ex-Chiefs/Raiders RB Marcus, Allen is in fact the godson of Curtis Martin, and a springy athlete with a 37-inch vertical and 10-foot-7 broad jump. On tape, Allen is a physical, downhill safety with limited cover skills whose strengths are accentuated in the box. More big hitter than rangy centerfielder, Allen has a future on special-teams coverage if he can’t carve out playing time at strong safety or nickel linebacker.
Apr 28 - 2:22 PM

Steelers selected Western Michigan OT Chukwuma Okorafor with the No. 92 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Okorafor (6’6/320) grew up in Africa and didn’t play offensive line until his junior year in high school, then became a 39-game starter for Western Michigan, flipping from right to left tackle as a junior and earning first-team All-MAC in both of his final two years. Okorafor looks the part with a massive build, but his tape reveals a prospect in need of technical work. Okorafor also tested out as a lowly ninth-percentile SPARQ athlete in Indy. Not yet 21 years old, Okorafor is a probable multi-year project.
Apr 27 - 10:35 PM

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