2022 Steelers Training Camp Preview - UDFAs Who Could Make The Roster
As excited as fans may be for the players of the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers draft class to perform on the field, there should be an equal amount of excitement for the undrafted free agents currently on the roster. Like any UDFA, the odds are stacked against them to prove worthy of a spot on a team's practice squad, let alone the active roster. From this year's group, here are three players with the pedigree to make the active roster:
Running Back Mataeo Durant
True speed is an attribute that can not be taught to a running back. What defined Durant as a running back, during his time with the Duke Blue Devils, was his ability to breakaway from defenders with a few strides. Of the running backs currently on the roster, he is the fastest, with third-year running back Anthony McFarland Jr. at a close second. Speaking of McFarland Jr., his injury issues this past season have sparked the need for a healthy and productive running back behind Najee Harris. One thing fans should expect during training camp is for him to make good use of his agility, speed, and vision to impress the masses in attendance.
Defensive Back Carlins Platel
Platel earned his spot after the team's rookie minicamp in May, and with good reason. Platel carries desirable size for his position (6-1, 205 lbs). Secondly, Platel played both corner and safety during his year with South Carolina, giving him the type of versatility the Steelers can use in their secondary. What does not get talked about enough with Platel is his ball skills. In just seven starts with the Gamecocks in 2021, Platel registered two passes defended, two forced fumbles, and 2.5 tackles for loss. Fans should not be surprised if his name is mentioned among the top training camp performers.
Offensive Tackle Chris Owens
Owens is a name that has not received the attention it deserves. During his time with the University of Alabama, he started in 20 career games, including 12 games at right tackle. Most importantly, Owens has experience at center, a position that is in dire need of depth as Kendrick Green has seemingly made his transition to the guard position. Owens' position versatility gives the Steelers incentive to add him to their depth chart, as his experience playing in big games could serve well during the course of a season.