The Steelers have signed nine undrafted free agents to conclude their 2017 drafting process. Unfortunately, the Steelers also had to part ways with five players; one of which was quarterback, Zach Mettenberger.
New blood in; old blood out, is seemingly the mantra by which the Steelers are building their 2017 roster.
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• First round selection, T.J. Watt
• Second round selection, JuJu Smith-Schuster
• Third round selection, Cameron Sutton
• Fourth round selection, Joshua Dobbs
• Fifth round selection, Brian Allen
• Sixth and seventh round selections, Colin Holba and Keion Adams
• Steelers’ 2017 NFL Draft grades
University of Pittsburgh defensive back, Terrish Webb and tight end, Scott Orndoff, were among the nine undrafted free agents the Steelers signed. Orndoff was one of the prospects the Steelers32 writing team highlighted here and may be one heck of a free agent find.
The Steelers signed a pair of defensive tackles, Nelson Adams from Mississippi State and Christian Brown from West Virginia. NFL.com referred to Brown as an athletic interior defender that is “more solid than good.”
Sticking on the defensive side of the ball, the Steelers also signed Francis Kallon, a defensive end from Georgia Tech and Keith Kelsey, a linebacker from Louisville. Although Kelsey had a rating of 4.88 from NFL.com, he bench-pressed 225 pounds 23 times.
With a rating of 5.19 from NFL.com, Indiana-Pennsylvania offensive guard, Ethan Cooper, is the highest-rated undrafted free agent the Steelers signed. Cooper was also projected to become a sixth or seventh-round selection this past weekend.
An intriguing offensive pairing of Clemson quarterback, Nick Schuessler, and West Virginia running back, Rushel Shell were also signed by the Steelers. Schuessler only attempted 66 passes in his college career while Shell dealt with a plethora of situations; causing him to go undrafted.
When looking at the list of rookie free agents the Steelers signed, two aspects come to mind; size and location. More-than-half of the prospects stand at 6-foot-3-inches tall or taller; every prospect is also from the eastern part of the United States.
Steelers release Mettenberger and four others
The former sixth-round selection of the Tennessee Titans was released on Monday, May 1st. Mettenberger was on the Steelers’ roster during the 2016 season but did not see any action on the field. The former Titan has started in 10 games during his short career; throwing for 2,347 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Steelers were not done with releases as earlier on Tuesday, they released running backs, Brandon Brown-Dukes and Gus Johnson. The Steelers also announced the release of wide receiver, Canaan Severin, and cornerback, Al-Hajj Shabazz.
The moves are all part of the Steelers’ post-draft plans in the early part of the 2017 season as they position themselves to win their seventh Super Bowl Championship.