Do The Steelers Have A Secret Weapon On Defense?

Photo via USA Today

By Matt Papiernik, @Matt_Papiernik on Twitter


During the 2019 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense brought a smile to many fans faces, at it reminded them of the play-making, quarterback chasing defense that they have missed.

The Steelers defense contains a lot of big names. They made a mid-season trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick, traded up in the 2019 NFL Draft for Devin Bush, adding them both to a defense that already included Joe Haden and Cameron Heyward. These are all household names in the homes of NFL fans.

However, there is one name that is far from a known commodity, and even some Steelers fans may have forgotten about him. That name is Ulysees Gilbert III, or UG3 as some in the media have called him.

Gilbert III was drafted in the 6th round of the 2019 NFL Draft as a linebacker out of Akron. At the time, a potential special teamer that would sit no higher than 4th on the depth chart.

In 2020,  Gilbert III is now viewed as someone who can make a serious contribution to help the Steelers get back to the playoffs.

Gilbert III was putting together a solid 2019 season, as he was making a serious impact on special teams. However, his season was cut short due to a back injury that ended his season after only appearing in seven games.

Now, as we inch closer to the 2020 season, Gilbert III has been rehabbing at home to get himself back to 100%. Like many players around the league, Gilbert III was able to go into their team’s facility on May 19th, and now the Steelers know exactly where he is in his rehab.

Assuming Gilbert III gets back to full health, he has a fast track to be the Steelers 3rd linebacker, as well as profiling as a candidate to take over the role left by Mark Barron’s release.

Gilbert III has as great athletic profile, one that is coveted by many teams in the league. He is fast, twitchy, instinctive, and is a tremendous tackler. All tools needed to be a nickel linebacker in the NFL, and he will have every opportunity to win that job with the Steelers. His play making also fits right into the Steelers defense, as he had three defensive touchdowns during his time in college. Defensive touchdowns is a category the Steelers led the league in, in 2019.

While the Steelers have two starting linebackers that Gilbert III likely won’t be able to surpass this season in Vince Williams and Devin Bush, his play making ability will make it hard for the Steelers to keep him off the field if he remains healthy.


Let us know below what you think of Ulysees Gilbert III and what role he could potentially play for the Steelers in 2020!



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