Pittsburgh Steelers Undrafted Free Agents: Tracking the Latest Signings
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The 2013 NFL draft might be over, but the rookie signings most certainly are not. Though 254 players were selected, there are hundreds of others still looking for a team, and teams are still in the market for players at serious value.
Here, we detail every single undrafted free agent the Pittsburgh Steelers bring on in the next few days with a quick breakdown of who they are and how they may fit with their new team.
C Joe Madsen, West Virginia
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West Virginia center Joe Madsen tweeted on Saturday that he's one of the Pittsburgh Steelers' class of undrafted free agents.
Though nothing particularly special, any center who can pass block for Geno Smith is worthy of some team's time and attention. And for the Steelers, who can use as much offensive line depth as they can get, it's a smart addition.
OG Mike Golic Jr., Notre Dame
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The Steelers continued to add offensive line depth with their undrafted free-agent signings by bringing on Notre Dame guard Mike Golic Jr., according to his father and ESPN personality Mike Golic.
Notre Dame didn't particularly impress on offense in 2012, and Golic himself wasn't draft-day material. However, this time of year is when the Steelers need to snag offensive linemen and figure out who can give them some help should the injury bug bite their line yet again.
DT Omar Hunter, Florida
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Florida defensive tackle Omar Hunter is another undrafted Pittsburgh Steelers addition from Saturday, based on his own claims (via Bryan Holt of Rivals.com).
Hunter is no Shariff Floyd, but he's a sturdy player, with 40 tackles, four tackles for loss and four batted passes in 2012. The Steelers certainly can use more depth on their defensive line.
OL Ivory Wade, Baylor
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Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net reports that the Steelers have signed undrafted free-agent offensive lineman Ivory Wade of Baylor.
Wade played center at Baylor but may be more of a guard prospect for the Steelers. It is yet another signing that serves the major need of helping out their offensive line depth.
LS Luke Ingram, Hawaii
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The Honolulu Star-Advertiser's Dave Reardon confirms the Pittsburgh Steelers have signed free-agent rookie long snapper Luke Ingram.
Special teams positions like long snapper are traditionally best filled in free agency rather than spending a valuable draft pick on.
DE Brian Arnfelt, Northwestern
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The Pittsburgh Steelers have confirmed they have signed rookie free agent defensive end Brian Arnfelt from Northwestern.
Arnfelt had 25 combined tackles in 2012 along with three sacks, two passes broken up and two forced fumbles. For a defense that will need to get younger, Arfelt isn't a bad player to pick up and have compete for a roster spot.
He ran a 4.83 40-yard dash at his pro day and had 38 bench press repetitions. Both indicate that he has good speed and strength.
LB Alan Baxter, Northern Illinois
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The Pittsburgh Steelers confirm they have signed rookie free agent Northern Illinois linebacker Alan Baxter.
Baxter had an impressive nine sacks in 2012, along with 60 combined tackles, 11 tackles for loss and two pass breakups.
He's a speedy edge rusher coming from a Northern Illinois defense that is built to get at quarterbacks. Baxter could very well end up on the Steelers' final roster this year if he proves to be worthwhile depth for their linebacking corps.
G Nik Embernate, San Diego State
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The Pittsburgh Steelers confirm they have signed undrafted free agent guard Nik Embernate of San Diego State.
Embernate has been a starter since his freshman season, helping San Diego State to have an excellent run game. He's a very aggressive run blocker with good athleticism, but needs to work on some of his fundamentals—beyondthecombine.com says that he relies more on strength than leverage, which won't get him by in the NFL.
If Embernate can improve his weaknesses, however, he could very well provide much-needed depth for the Steelers on their offensive line.
WR Reggie Dunn, Utah
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The Pittsburgh Steelers have confirmed the signing of undrafted rookie free agent Reggie Dunn, a wide receiver from Utah.
Dunn, at 5'9", is quite small for traditional receiving duties and is probably best-suited to play the slot. Where he stands out the most is as a kick returner.
He returned 10 kickoffs in 2012 for 513 yards and an impressive four touchdowns and has a total of 48 kick returns for 1,482 yards and five touchdowns over the past three years. With Utah, Dunn had about 10 to 15 receptions per season and just as many carries.
The Steelers may see Dunn similarly to last year's draft pick Chris Rainey. To stick on the roster, however, Dunn's prodigious kick return ability will need to be regularly on display.
OT Mike Farrell, Penn State
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The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed unrestricted free agent rookie offensive tackle Mike Farrell from Penn State.
Farrell is a Pittsburgh-area native who could very well have been taken in the final two rounds of the draft. He had an excellent pro day and has worked hard to put on weight, improve his technique and become a prototypical NFL offensive lineman.
DE Cordian Hagans, Louisiana-Lafayette
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The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed undrafted rookie free agent defensive end Cordian Hagans from Louisiana-Lafayette in a move the National Football Post thought could happen, at least according to their scouting report on Hagans.
Hagans is a former LSU offensive lineman who was moved to defensive end when he transferred to Louisiana-Lafayette. Because of this, the NFP finds him to be quite raw, though he does have good speed.
That speed may result in Hagans being useful to the Steelers' special teams while he works to improve his technique and someday make the defensive rotation.
G Chris Hubbard, UAB
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The Pittsburgh Steelers have confirmed the signing of undrafted free agent offensive guard Chris Hubbard from the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
Hubbard was a starting left tackle at Alabama-Birmingham who will move to guard in the NFL. He had a good pro day workout, particularly showcasing his speed. The Steelers are stockpiling undrafted offensive linemen in the hope that at least a few of them can stick around and help their depth.
RB Curtis McNeal, USC
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The Pittsburgh Steelers confirm they have signed undrafted rookie free agent running back Curtis McNeal from USC.
Fast and surprisingly effective as a blocker, McNeal is quite a solid running back to pick up from the group of undrafted free agents. The only concern with McNeal is his size—he's only 5'7"—but if he can add some weight without affecting his speed, he'll have a better chance of eventually earning carries.
McNeal had 116 carries for 701 yards and two touchdowns in 2012; his 2011 season was the best of his USC career, with 145 carries for 1,005 yards and six touchdowns. He's also a kick returner.
DT Anthony Rashad White, Michigan State
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The Pittsburgh Steelers confirm they have signed undrafted free agent defensive tackle Anthony Rashad White, from Michigan State.
According to the National Football Post, White has the look of a nose tackle, using his size effectively to stop any would-be run blockers from pushing him around. He can handle double-teams quite well and is a good tackler. He lacks speed, however, which makes it difficult for him to close in on tight ends or running backs as well as rush the passer.
White would be a rotational defensive player at best for the Steelers.
WR JD Woods, West Virginia
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The Pittsburgh Steelers have confirmed the signing of undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver JD Woods from West Virginia.
Woods benefited from having the strong-armed Geno Smith throwing to him, catching 61 passes for 637 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. The National Football Post cites his strengths as being excellent route-running, great size and strength and the ability to fight to get yards after the catch.
He has poor speed and explosiveness, however, making Woods better suited for possession receiver duties in the NFL. He could stick on the Steelers roster.