Pittsburgh Steelers Undrafted Free Agents: Need-to-Know Info for Every Signee
The NFL has become more and more dependent on the talent available among undrafted free agents. Going over NFL rosters, you see a growing number of UDFAs on game day rosters. This is good news for all these young men who didn’t get selected. In fact, in some cases, being able to pick their team rather than the other way around helps the prospect.
This year’s draft yielded the Pittsburgh Steelers several very talented football players. Don’t be shocked if four of five of them are key contributors in 2014. Regardless, with a draft class so deep, general manager Kevin Colbert is going to have a great pool of talent to draw from.
Pittsburgh isn’t among those franchises which have had tremendous success recently with undrafted players, but historically, linebacker James Harrison and defensive back Donnie Shell are standouts.
Be sure to keep checking back here to keep up on all the latest information on the UDFAs the Steelers sign.
All signings are confirmed via Steelers PR Manager Burt Lauten and his Twitter account.
Devon Carrington, S, Stanford
The Steelers have signed Stanford safety Devon Carrington. Carrington was a reserve for much of his career at Stanford, but has interesting measurables. Find Carrington's full bio here.
Weight: 194 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.65 sec.
Vertical Jump: 36.5 inches
Carrington's odds of making the final roster are long, but if he can match his athleticism to better technique, Pittsburgh could stash him away on their practice squad.
Brendon Kay, QB, Cincinnati
Weight: 226 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.63 sec.
Vertical Jump: 34 inches
Short of a miracle, Kay will be gone before final cuts. It's nice to have an athletic young guy to test the defensve, but unless Landry Jones or Bruce Gradkowski suffer significant injuries in camp, Kay won't be kept on.
Kaycee Ike, OT, UAB
The Steelers have signed UAB offensive tackle Kaycee Ike as a free agent. Ike is an athletic prospect with good skills to move inside to guard. Find Ike's full bio here.
Weight: 294 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.02 sec.
Vertical Jump: 26 inches
Ike is an interesting player on film because he is a versatile lineman with some upside. Pittsburgh is not shy about bringing in guys like Ike and throwing them into the fire.
Will Simmons, G, Eastern Carolina
The Steelers have signed Eastern Carolina guard Will Simmons to a free agent contract. Simmons is a massive, maulling lineman with excellent size and strength. Could make the final roster. See Simmons' full bio here.
Weight: 326 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.37 sec.
Vertical Jump: 29 inches
Pittsburgh might have stolen a sleeper here with Simmons. He is so massive and powerful, Pittsburgh might want to stash him away. With the injuries this group had last year, He could find himself pressed into duty quickly.
Ethan Hemer, DE, Wisconsin
The Steelers have signed Wisconsin defensive end Ethan Hemer to a free-agent contract. Hemer is a huge, natural 5-technique with nice athleticism. Hemer is a good candidate to make the final roster. You can read Hemer's full bio here.
Weight: 291 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.11 sec.
Vertical Jump: 29.5 inches
Hemer is a long, lean and athletic 5-technique end. At 291 pounds, he could come in and contribute right away. However, he needs to get strong and show more consistent effort on every play.
Howard Jones, LB, Shepherd
The Steelers have signed Shepherd linebacker Howard Jones to a free-agent contract. Jones is a natural pass-rusing outside linebacker with excellent burst. An interesting developmental prospect. Read Jones' full bio here.
Weight: 235 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.54 sec.
Vertical Jump: 40.5 inches
Look out for Jones. He might need a year to get a little more meat on his bones, but Pittsburgh doesn't want to let this explosive edge player get away.
Josh Mauro, DE, Stanford
The Steelers have signed Stanford defensive end Josh Mauro to a free-agent contract. Mauro is a natural 5-technique end who plays with tremendous leverage and power. Mauro is an excellent candidate to make the final roster. Read Mauro's full bio here.
Weight: 271 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.15 sec.
Vertical Jump: 32 inches
Mauro might be the most NFL-ready of any of these free agents. His frame will hold 20 more pounds without much problem. He has a tremendous football acumen and could have a very bright future ahead of him.
Eric Waters, TE, Missouri
The Steelers have signed Missouri tight end Eric Waters to a free-agent contract. Waters have nice athleticism, but is more big wide receiver than a true tight end. You can read Waters' full bio here.
Weight: 244 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.70 sec.
Vertical Jump: 39 inches
Pittsburgh adds Waters and with him his outstanding athletic ability. If he can put it all together, and show more consistency with his hands, there could definitely be a place for him on this roster.
Chris Elkins, G, Youngstown State
The Steelers have signed Youngstown State guard Chris Elkins. Elkins is a decent prospect, but lascks the power to be an effective NFL lineman. You can read Elkins' full bio here.
Weight: 298 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.97 sec.
Vertical Jump: 29 inches
Elkins looks to get reps at both guard and center with his a plus for him. He's very good athlete for a man his size, which is also a plus. Nevertheless, he struggles to hold up physically at the point of attack, and will need to do much better.
Roy Philon, DT, Louisville
The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed Louisville defensive tackle Roy Philon. The 6'2", 298-pound defensive tackle likely projects to defensive end in the Steelers' 3-4 defense. Find Philon's fill bio here.
Weight: 2198 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.13 sec.
Vertical Jump: 27.5 inches
Philon was very quiet in 2013, and so he is somewhat hard to study. He's a short, squatty player who might be better suited to either beef up to play nose tackle, or at a 3-technique tackle in a 4-3 defense.