The Pittsburgh Steelers took the next step in shaping the 2012 season when they trimmed their roster down to the final 53 on Friday.
This offseason, we have all tried to predict who would make the final roster, and in the end, there were not many surprises. If the Steelers did not get hit hard with injuries during the preseason, there would have been even less surprises then there were.
Three undrafted rookies made the team this year in punter Drew Butler, safety Robert Golden and linebacker Adrian Robinson.
Butler had a solid preseason; however, he was basically handed the job when Jeremy Kapinos was hurt and unable to compete.
Golden was in competition with Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith and seemed to pull away until he injured his hamstring against the Panthers. The injury must not have been too serious, which prompted the question of whether or not the Steelers would keep five safeties.
The real surprise will come after Week 1 if the team finally drops Will Allen and keeps Golden as the fourth safety.
Robinson has been on fire during the preseason and there really shouldn’t have been a question of whether or not he would make the team. He was made more of a lock due to the injuries to James Harrison, Jason Worilds, Stevenson Sylvester and the season-ending injury to Sean Spence.
You could call it a surprise that seventh-round pick David Paulson made the team — until you realize that Weslye Saunders is suspended for the first four games. Paulson will need to show improvement in his blocking; otherwise, he’ll be stashed on the practice squad when Saunders returns.
The biggest shock of the day was the fact that rookie Kelvin Beachum made the team over Trai Essex. Both Beachum and Essex were inconsistent during the preseason, and Essex will probably be re-signed when David DeCastro is put on injured reserve.
The real thing to be paying attention to is whether or not the Steelers are able to get a new contract done with Mike Wallace before their season begins.