Here are the final five players to make the roster:
Sylvester earns a spot over Chris Carter because of his ability to play on the inside or outside. He is capable of shining on special teams, something Carter has not done.
DeMarcus Van Dyke
Carnell Lake has done a terrific job developing defensive backs. Van Dyke’s physical tools—6’1” and a 40-yard dash time below 4.30 seconds—cannot be taught. He is worth a spot to give him time to develop.
Hawthorne had a terrific junior season before falling off as a senior. He has a high upside, and the Steelers need to tap into his potential. Teams can never have enough quality cornerbacks.
The Steelers need depth on the offensive line. Embernate is the best of their young options.
Burress’ spot on the roster will come down to his veteran knowledge of the position versus his lack of value on special teams. The other receiving options in camp cannot bring the size that Burress does, but at the bottom of the depth chart, their value will be on special teams. He will be pushed, but Burress will get one more opportunity due to his size and physical presence.