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Steelers Rookie Minicamp Headlines: Key Takeaways and Insights

Explore the latest headlines from the Pittsburgh Steelers' rookie minicamp, including position battles, signings, and standout performances.
Steelers Rookie Minicamp

Rookie Minicamp Roster Overview

The Pittsburgh Steelers concluded their rookie minicamp on Sunday at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Pittsburgh’s South Side. It was the first time head coach Mike Tomlin and his staff got to see their 2024 draft picks and newly signed rookie UDFAs. The Steelers also invited 21 tryout players along with 10 first-year players, who are fighting for 3 roster spots heading into training camp and OTAs.

Troy Fautanu practices at Right Tackle

There has been a ton of speculation about where Troy Fautanu would line up for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In college, Troy Fautanu played left tackle, starting all 15 games in 2023 and earning all-conference and All-American honors. Some scouts speculated he might be too undersized to play tackle in the NFL but could excel as a guard. The Steelers also have Broderick Jones, whom they drafted out of Georgia in 2023 in the first round. Jones played left tackle in college but started the second half of the season at right tackle for the Steelers. During the offseason, at the NFL combine, reporters asked Steelers General Manager Omar Khan about Broderick Jones’ future at left tackle and right tackle. Khan responded by stating that he drafted Jones to eventually play left tackle.

It seems the Steelers coaching staff agreed by having Troy Fautanu take right tackle reps at rookie minicamp, indicating that in week 1 of the regular season, it will be Broderick Jones at left tackle and Troy Fautanu at right tackle.

Steelers Sign CB Anthony Averett

The Steelers officially signed Anthony Averett to a one-year deal Sunday after rookie minicamp. Averett was not like most players at rookie minicamp; he is a veteran in the NFL, starting in 27 games and playing in 51 games. For his career, he has 114 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 23 passes defensed. Averett was a 4th round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Alabama. In 2023, he did not play an NFL snap as he bounced on practice squads with the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions and was dealing with some injuries. Averett is a quality signing for a very inexperienced cornerback room with not a ton of depth.

The Steelers will have Joey Porter Jr and Donte Jackson as their starters, and behind them will be Darius Rush, who barely played in 2023 as a rookie, Corey Trice, who missed the entire season with a torn ACL, and lastly 6th round rookie Ryan Watts and rookie UDFA Beanie Bishop Jr. Averett, if he makes the team and can shake off the injury bug, will be able to provide a veteran presence in the cornerback room and help mentor the young Steelers cornerbacks.

Daijun Edwards Impresses at Rookie Minicamp

Daijun Edwards was signed as a UDFA for the Steelers after not getting selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. Edwards spent 4 years at Georgia where he was the primary running back the last 2 years. He helped Georgia win a national championship in 2022, rushing for 769 yards and 7 touchdowns that season. Edwards was still never a dominating force in college and in 2023 split carries with 3 other Georgia running backs. If Edwards wants to make the team, it will be an uphill battle.

The Steelers do not carry 4 running backs often in the regular season. The first 3 running back spots seem cemented for the Steelers with Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren splitting carries most games. The Steelers also signed veteran Cordarrelle Patterson to be their RB3 and kick returner. Good news for Edwards though he impressed Day 1 of rookie minicamp according to Steelers insider Mark Kaboly.

Edwards’ best way to make the Steelers team this year is to show in training camp and preseason that he can be a really good special teams player and can help in pass protection if Najee Harris or Jaylen Warren need a break. It’s probable that Edwards will secure a spot on the Steelers practice squad and receive a call-up if any running backs sustain injuries this year.

Main Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


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