These players will have their last shot to show coaches why they deserve to make the Steelers 53-man roster versus the Lions.
It all comes down to this last game for many players across the NFL that hope to make a roster in 2022. The bottom of the group guys that have been fighting for snaps in camp will have everything come down to this game against the Detroit Lions. This will be their last opportunity to show their games in a positive light to the Steelers coaching staff before cuts are decided.
Everyone’s body of work has been put to the test up to this point. Coaches want to see consistency from guys, and many seem like they have roster spots nearly set in stone. There are a couple of places where someone could emerge and take a job if they can perform well enough in this last preseason contest.
Anthony McFarland has his last chance to become the last running back
Running back is where things could still be fought for when it comes to the last spot being up for grabs. Najee Harris is the star player at the position, and he will be making the team without question. Jaylen Warren is another player that seems like he will be making the roster after an impressive preseason for an undrafted free agent.
Anthony McFarland and Benny Snell seem like the two that are battling for the final roster spot at running back. Snell seems like one of Mike Tomlin’s favorites, plus he has more experience and can play special teams. McFarland seems like the odd man out at this juncture and will need to have an impressive game to mirror what he did in week one of the preseason to jump in front of Snell.
Justin Layne wants to push for the last cornerback spot
It seems like only one (or possibly two) spots are available to make the roster at cornerback. All three of Cam Sutton, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Levi Wallace are locks to make the club. The depth behind them is starting to be sorted out and it seems like there are some finalists for the two potential spots.
Arthur Maulet seems like he will make the team as he provides depth at the inside corner position. Justin Layne and James Pierre will be fighting for the last opening it seems. Both play outside and Pierre seems like the favorite now to take the job as he has played more consistently thus far.
The Steelers depth at outside linebacker could force a free agent addition
One of the biggest concerns for Pittsburgh is their lack of depth at the outside linebacker position. The two starters are a good duo, but those behind them leave you wanting more. The Steelers might be forced to bring in some outside options that remain in free agency, or those that become available after cuts are made.
Derrek Tuszka seems like he will have his spot secure on this roster, but his best chance for future development might be on the practice squad. This defense needs some more reliable players at this spot and that might have to be made from outside the organization if these depth guys cannot show enough against Detroit.
Depth at inside linebacker will have their last showing before cuts
Inside linebacker is a conundrum right now for the Steelers and it could become a major issue soon. No matter the quality of the starter position, those spots are all set up for the regular season. Myles Jack, Devin Bush, and Robert Spillane will all be playing certain roles on this defense.
Pittsburgh normally likes to keep around five linebackers on their roster, but they could always keep six. The depth behind the starters is strong but not good enough to start now. Mark Robinson seems like he will be making the roster with Buddy Johnson and Marcus Allen fighting for the last spot to make the club.
Miles Boykin will try to play his way onto the Steelers roster
The receiver position is nearly a polar opposite of the linebacker issues facing the team currently. This is one of the best and deepest positions in the NFL after the Steelers reloaded at the position with accuracy. The weapons here can be replaced and trotted out onto the field in unison if injuries occur.
It seems like the club will keep either five or six players, that discrepancy between five or six could mean a player without a job. Miles Boykin has done some nice things in training camp, but other players have shown more. He will need to show more on special teams and make some plays as a receiver to become the sixth guy that the black and gold kept.
The Steelers will have a lot of work to do between the end of the game and Tuesday when cuts are announced. These players will have their last chance to prove themselves to the coaches versus the Lions.