The 2016 Pittsburgh Steelers first roster cuts contained few surprises but did defer the dreams of two training camp hopefuls, and spelled the end of the line for a pick for from the 2014 NFL Draft.
Ahead of the Tuesday’s deadline to trim rosters down to 75, the Pittsburgh Steelers placed Jerald Hawkins, the tackle the took in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft on injured reserve. Jerald Hawkins looked good in camp and it was suggested the rookie could get a helmet on game days, working as third TE.
- However, Hawkins was injured in the Steelers preseason loss to Detroit.
By placing him on injured reserve, Hawkins rookie season is over The Steelers also designated quarterback Dustin Vaughan as waived/injured. While this ends his season with the Steelers, if no other team claims Vaughan the Steelers have the option to retain Vaughan’s rights. So Vaughan may get another chance to prove himself on the fields of St. Vincents next summer.
In fact, one year ago the Steelers designated Jordan Zumwalt as waived/injured, and gave the young linebacker his third, and apparently final chance this past summer. Today the Steelers cut Jordan Zumwalt effectively ending the young UCLA linebacker’s dreams and hopes of playing in the NFL, at least as a Pittsburgh Steeler.
The Steelers liked Jordan Zumwalt coming out of UCLA, bringing him to Pittsburgh along with Ryan Shazier prior to the 2014 NFL Draft. The Steelers used the first of two 6th round picks to draft Jordan Zumwalt. However, Zumwalt spent much of training camp injured and went on injured reserve in late August. In 2015 big things were expected of Zumwalt, but he failed to capitalize. Gerry Dulac reported that coaches didn’t like Zumwalt’s intensity, although Jim Wexell sources did not lead him to a similar conclusion.
- Either way it looks like Zumwalt was unable to distinguish himself in a deep depth chart of Steelers linebackers.
When healthy, the Steelers have four starter-capable outside line backers in James Harrison, Jarvis Jones, Bud Dupree and Arthur Moats. Second year man Anthony Chickillo has impressed in training camp and preseason, and there is also 6th round pick Travis Freeney.
On the inside the Steelers have Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, and Vince Williams as roster locks. L.J. Fort has impressed, as has 7th round pick Tyler Matakevich.
8 other players got visits from the Turk as the Steelers cut down their roster to 79.
Mike Reilly, linebacker
Isaac Blakeney, wide receiver
Levi Norwood, wide receiver/kick returner
Michael Cooper, tight end
Giorgio Newberry, defensive end
Khaynin Mosley-Smith, defensive tackle
Julian Whigham, cornerback
Will Montgomery, punter
The Steelers still have four more cuts to make between now and Tuesday.