Leading up to the Pittsburgh Steelers arrival at Latrobe for training camp, we ran several polls asking your thoughts on the chances of several players to make the final 53 man roster this year. These players were ones that we deemed being on the bubble heading into training camp and I thought that you might like to see the results of those polls all in one place.
Below are the final results of those polls along with my quick thoughts on each. Thank you to all of you that participated.
Analysis: I thought Garvin would have had a little bit more support, but obviously most of you don’t see much value in what he brought last year on special teams. Garvin will have to go the special teams route once again after making the team last year as an undrafted free agent. He can make himself even more valuable if he shows anything at the outside linebacker position as the reports indicate he will get some work there this year during training camp. Currently, I have him making the final roster.
Analysis: The results don’t surprise me. Spence is a fan favorite and it’s hard not to root for the former third-round draft pick to final overcome the serious knee injury that has had him sidelined the last two years. As I wrote in an earlier post, I believe that Spence is in a training camp battle against himself. Currently, I have him making the final 53 man roster just like the majority of you.
Analysis: I’m not as optimistic about Zumwalt as most of you are. It appears as though several of you believe that he might very well beat out the aforementioned Garvin this year. Zumwalt has a lot of catching up to do being as he missed all of the OTA practices, but being as he played in a similar system at UCLA, that should help him. Make no mistake, he has to be strong on special teams and like Garvin, it will help if he can play both inside and outside.
Analysis: Moye seems to have lost some support since last season. Despite him receiving more yes votes than no votes, I figured it wouldn’t be this close. He will of course be in a battle with the next two players listed below for a spot on the roster. For the record, I currently have him not making the final 53.
Analysis: The voting for the former first round draft went pretty much as I expected it would. Several of you are obviously worried about his drop problem and with good reason. Heyward-Bey’s saving grace might be that the Steelers wide receiver group is as a whole is very young and inexperienced. Another factor that could come into play is if he’s able to contribute on four special team units. He still has great speed and showed late last season that he can get down field and cover kicks. If the Steelers only keep five true wide receivers, however, that might not be enough. If they keep six, his chances of staying around obviously increase. I currently have him sticking.
Analysis: Due to Brown receiving so much positive press during the offseason practices, I thought he would have had more support. Even I have been sipping on the Kool-Aid. This is one player that I’m really excited to hear about during training camp and watch during the preseason. Like Moye and Heyward-Bey, however, he better show something on special teams.
Analysis: Many of you are not Whimper fans and that’s not overly surprising. He is on the wrong side of 30, but is position flexible to some degree and has experience. Whether or not he sticks for a second season could come down to how rookie draft pick Wesley Johnson performs over the course of the next several weeks.
Analysis: A blowout and I’m not surprised one bit. The Steelers are going to keep three tight ends at a minimum, so if that winds up being the number, Paulson will have to beat out rookie draft pick Rob Blanchflower. If they keep four, Paulson will have to show that he has improved as a blocker. I am in the extreme minority right now as I have the third-year tight end sticking one more year along with Blanchflower.
Analysis: Many of you do not seem to be too impressed with the former Houston Texans cornerback who had a dismal 2013 season. He’s undersized and in my opinion, doesn’t bring much to the team in the way of special teams play. It could come down to numbers kept at the position with McCain, who will have a very hard time knocking Antwon Blake off of the roster.
Analysis: I thought that the voting would have been closer with Allen. Perhaps I should have also put a poll up for Robert Golden as well. Allen is a seasoned veteran, but if second-year safety Shamarko Thomas can overtake him as the first one off the bench during training camp, you have to wonder just how much his value to the team would decrease then. He’s also not the special teams player that he once was as Father Time is closing fast. He is, however, one Mike Tomlin’s favorite players, so he has that going for him.
Analysis: Arnfelt has had fan support dating back to last preseason, so the results of this poll aren’t very surprising. as long as Brett Keisel remains unsigned, the former undrafted free agent has a better than average shot of making the final 53 man roster, in my opinion.
Analysis: Williams is trying to fight back from a knee injury that cost him his rookie season. While he was considered a project after being drafted in the seventh-round last year, many of you are ready to move on from him, it appears. He will be battling Arnfelt and that’s definitely going to be a chore being as he is essentially a year behind him.
Analysis: Fangupo actually received more support than I thought he would. Many of, however, probably believe that rookie draft pick Daniel McCullers will beat him out for the roster spot if the Steelers decide to keep one extra nose tackle type. Just so know, I voted yes in this one, but I’m not married to that.