Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 UDFA Recap Part 2: Defensive position group analysis

With the 2022 NFL Draft in the books, we are looking at one giant step closer to establishing the Pittsburgh Steelers for the Black and Gold in the 2022-2023 season.

Welcome to Part Two of a series of articles examining some of the lesser-known new additions to the Steelers roster.

Earlier this week, I looked at the offensive UDFAs (or undrafted free agents) that have recently been signed by the team. In part two, I will breakdown those defensive players who will be joining the Steelers rookie minicamp May 13-15, 2022.

Sound good? Good! Let’s begin!

Defensive Lineman

Getty Images from Embed

Donovan Jeter (DL, Michigan):

Size and quickness alone from an intriguing prospect. However, with the issue, Donovan Jeter is a backup / rotational defensive lineman who is more than capable of ever actually putting in his time during the put-together.

The size and potential are all there for Jeter to be a contributor at the next level and with such a talented and profound group, the Steelers may give the prospect the time and room to grow.

Group Analysis

Players: Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu, Montravius ​​Adams, Chris Wormley, Isaiahh Loudermilk, Carlos Davis, Khalil Davis, Henry Mondeaux; DeMarvin Leal

As much as I would like to see Jeter find success at the next level and make it to the Steelers roster, I think he will find a spot on the Steelers 53-man roster as well as the practice squad. , Independent of how he performs at camp.

Heyward, Alualu, Leal, Adams, Loudermilk, and Wormley are all shoe-ins to make the 53-man roster and that is what Stephon Tuitt is all about, even without a solid DL group.

Jeter will have an uphill battle in camp as his performance will surpass the likes of Henry Mondeaux and the Davis brothers (Carlos and Khalil) in the eyes of Coach Mike Tomlin if he hopes to make the practice squad.

Outside Linebackers

Getty Images from Embed

TD Moultry (OLB, Auburn)

Playing a program-record 59 games for the Auburn Tigers, TD Moultry struggled to find a role as a consistent contributor until his final year where he had 33 tackles and 3 sacks.

A player with a high motor, quick feet, and good use of his hands – Moultry’s shorter arm length means he can ride the passenger and get off the blocks in the run game.

Not the most impressive athletic specimen at camp, Moultry will have to prove himself as a top motorist who can make the cut in special teams.

Getty Images from Embed

Tyree Johnson (OLB, Texas A&M)

A solid athlete but not an outstanding one, Tyree Johnson proved himself to be an effective pass rusher during his time at the Aggies.

Last season he played all 12 games while starting at 9. Johnson amassed 31 tackles, 8.5 sacks (5th-most in the SEC), and 1 forced fumble.

Johnson of All-the-Scouting Reports seems to have a similar wrap on: an impressive pass rusher in college with an innate skill to get to the quarterback, but his lack of size and length to the limit make his abilities play out more dynamic and well -rounded EDGE.

Group Analysis

Players: TJ Watt, Alex Highsmith, Genard Avery, Derrek Tuszka

Unfortunately for our UDFAs, the starter and backup positions appear to be pretty locked in at this point in the process. Never say never, and hey, if there’s ever a hopeful about the pros and cons of undiscovered gems in the draft process – it’s here and now!

But I’ll let Moultry and Johnson be the optimists, their best hopes are the practice squad. Sorry, fellas.


Getty Images from Embed

Chris Steele (CB, USC)

Chris Steele posted decent numbers during his three years at USC, appearing in 29 games while starting 23 of those games. Steele accumulated 95 tackles (3 for loss), 12 deflections, 3 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery.

During his third and final year with the Trojans, Steele had 34 tackles, 3 pass deflections, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble and a sack – which would earn him an All-PAC-12 honorable mention, and a spot on Phil Steele -PAC-12 second team.

A solid, aggressive tackler, Steele struggled with getting off blocks and displaying disciplined, consistent technique / footwork.

Getty Images from Embed

Bryce Watts (CB, UMass)

Bryce Watts is the jump from an interesting prospect. He spent his college career moving from program to start, transferring to Virginia Tech before moving to North Carolina, then finally landing at UMass where he would start all 12 games, make 43 tackles, with 4 pass breakups and 1 interception.

Watts added 20 pounds of muscle during the pre-draft process bumping his weight from 170 to 190 which will surely help him physically matchup receivers in the NFL.

Athleticism was never an issue in college. Watts’ struggles came from trying to bait quarterbacks and inability to move off the blocks, two traits he’d have to address if he had to make the Steelers practice squad.

Group Analysis

Players: Cameron Sutton, Ahkello Witherspoon, James Pierre, Arthur Maulet, Justin Layne; Levi Wallace, Isaiah Johnson

This room in a lot of new faces; 2022 in Steelers for an Impact on a Fun Group to Do-It-All and Considered.

As we stand right now, I feel comfortable saying that Sutton, Witherspoon, Wallace, and Kazee are a core trio, and I can see two more making a practice squad with a 53-man roster.

So who?

My way-too-early prediction is that Arthur Maulet and Justin Layne are the roster to start the year. Maulet showed flashes last year. Layne, while not a defensive asset, has proven himself to be a valuable player on special teams.

My outside hope is that Steele’s speed, raw athleticism, and tackling are on display at the show, and he is able to make a splash into the 53-man roster but we’ll have to wait and see.


That’s the Steelers’ newest crop of UDFAs on a wrap. Pittsburgh kicks off their rookie minicamp with the 2022 season May 13 -15.

Who amongst this new class of UDFAs will be the next Steelers great? Who will make the 53-man roster? Who will make the practice squad? Let us know what you think!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button