As much as a team values their drafted prospects, one should never overlook the potential of a player that goes undrafted.
In 2020, cornerback James Pierre out of Florida Atlantic was an unknown commodity. By the time training camp ended, Pierre earned a spot on the active roster. Since then, he has evolved into one of the most promising players on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster.
This year, eight players signed as undrafted free agents, all looking to be the next one to rise from obscurity and into a roster spot. From this list, these are the three players that have the potential of accomplishing this goal.
Cornerback Shakur Brown
How Shakur Brown went undrafted is a mystery. What we know is that he is a legitimate prospect who can flat out play. With Michigan State last season, Brown earned national recognition with his performance. His five interceptions tied him for third in the nation, and at one point was ranked the no. 2 cornerback in the nation by Pro Football Focus. Before this year's NFL Draft, Brown ranked 95th on Pro Football Focus' Top 100 Big Board list. At 5'11, 190 lbs, Brown has the size and versatility to play outside or as a slot cornerback. He is the type of cornerback that could add value to their depth at cornerback. Fans should not be surprised if he eventually makes the active roster.
Safety Donovan Stiner
Two things that cannot be taught in a football player are size and desire. At 6'2, 210 lbs, Donovan Stiner has the size and work ethic to make the right impression on the Steelers coaching staff. During his time with Florida, Stiner was known to make big plays, notably his interception in the red zone against Auburn which was the turning point that led the Gators' victory. The big knock against him has been his tackling, which is still a work in progress. As an athlete, Stiner is long and rangy with underrated ball skills. With experience on special teams, Stiner already has the upper hand, as head coach Mike Tomlin holds a preference for players who can contribute on special teams.
Linebacker Calvin Bundage
In many ways, it would not seem inappropriate in giving Calvin Bundage the "late bloomer" label. In 2020 with Oklahoma State, Bundage set career highs in sacks (7.5) and tackles for loss (8.5) in ten games played. At one point, he registered sacks in four consecutive games to end the season. Standing 6'1, 220lbs, Bundage has proven production as both an inside (Mike) linebacker and on the outside. As it stands, the Steelers can also use additional quality depth at the linebacker position, specifically on the outside. If Bundage can stay healthy enough to show his full arsenal of skills, he could make a strong case for a roster spot.