NFL teams including the Pittsburgh Steelers were required to trim their rosters down on Tuesday from 85 to 80 players. The Steelers had a couple of surprising releases after letting go linebacker, Genard Avery and rookie quarterback, Chris Oladokun. The next couple of days will see a ton of these recently released guys shuffling from one team to another as their services may be a better fit elsewhere.
General Manager for the black and gold, Omar Khan could be very busy the next 48 hours or so as the team is far from complete and has glaring holes on the offensive line and areas on defense. Below are a few of the players released by their respective teams Monday and Tuesday who Khan should reach out to.
1.) Running Back, Kenyan Drake (Las Vegas Raiders)
Undrafted rookie running back, Jaylen Warren had an impactful training camp and is likely to make the 53-man roster. He won’t immediately jump into the RB2 role, however. Benny Snell Jr. and Anthony McFarland have been part of the organization for a few years and have yet to consistently standout behind the starter. That’s where Drake could potentially come into play.
In a surprising move, the Raiders released the veteran. Drake has averaged 4.5 yards per rush in his career and would be the perfect guy to give Najee Harris a breather during the regular season as the coaching staff continues to mold Warren into the future backup. Drake wouldn’t be too expensive of an option for the Steelers and could even be a mentor to Harris as he enters his second NFL season.
2.) Inside Linebacker, Shaun-Dion Hamilton (Detroit Lions)
The Steelers desperately need some kind of help at inside linebacker. Mark Robinson has began to impress, but with very little experience at the position throughout his football carrier, a more experienced signing like Hamilton might be helpful to the unit. Hamilton was drafted back in 2018 in the sixth round by the then-Washington Redskins. He played in all but two games from 2018-20 and has 46 games of experience.
He saw no action with the Lions in 2021 and the organization has decided to move on from the former Alabama linebacker. The now former Lions’ player had season-ending injuries in his junior and senior seasons with the Crimson Tide and his career path might look very different had those unfortunate injuries not occurred. He has the pedigree and talent and could be a solid depth option if healthy.
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3.) Interior Offensive Lineman, Shamarious Gilmore (Seattle Seahawks)
Gilmore is an undrafted rookie out of Georgia State, but with the depth that the Seahawks have inside, he was not given as strong a chance as he may have deserved. At 6’3”, 300 pounds, Gilmore has uncanny strength that simply cannot be taught. At Georgia State’s Pro Day, he completed 36 repetitions of bench press which would have been the best mark at the 2022 NFL Combine.
The Steelers have been lacking physicality on the inside since last year. The offensive line is the biggest concern heading into Week 3 of the preseason. While Gilmore wouldn’t start immediately, it is becoming quite apparent that neither Kevin Dotson or Kendrick Green are the future at left guard. Gilmore has a ton of play under his belt, starting each year in college. He is not a household name, but is certainly worth taking a look into in order to help beef up the line and apply pressure to Dotson and Green.
4.) Cornerback, Harrison Hand (Minnesota Vikings)
Hand is heading into is third season as a pro and is just 23 years old. His rookie season saw him see action in 14 games and grab an interception. This would be more of a depth move from Khan as the secondary has a few bumps and bruises. Hand is a former fifth-round pick with 23 games of NFL experience. He only had 22 tackles in his first two seasons, but comes as one of the few defensive backs released this week who has notable experience.
The Steelers still have holes to fill whether it be an important role as the backup running back or a depth move in the secondary. Dozens will be released next week after the final cuts are made and the organization may wait for those moves to act on something, but the names above should already intrigue the front office.
Who do you think the Steelers should go after following today’s cuts? Let us know in the comments below!