3 Steelers who made the roster but don’t deserve it

  • A cornerback filling out depth that just isn't there
  • Defenisve line depth that was already replaced up top
  • It's time to cut ties with this QB
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin Berl/GettyImages
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No more prognosticating, the Pittsburgh Steelers roster is now down to 53 players after final roster cuts were made on Tuesday. And on the whole, there weren't a number of surprises. Perhaps the biggest was not just trading Kendrick Green but also parting with Kevin Dotson as well. Aside from that, it was as expected.

In some cases, that's a good thing. When you look at a Steelers position group like the wide receivers, there weren't a ton of tough decisions to be made because of the talent in the room. However, there are some positions where, even though the starters look great, the bottom of the depth chart is lacking -- there just weren't any better options.

Looking through the 53 players on the roster, these three stick out as players who made the final cut, but didn't necessarily fully deserve their spot outside of there not being a better option, which is not indicative of their own play.

NFL Rumors: 3 Steelers who made the 53-man roster but don’t deserve it

3. James Pierre, CB

You'd be hard-pressed to find a player who made a 53-man roster for the 2023 season who performed worse in the preseason than Steelers cornerback James Pierre.

Already playing with the backups (and largely against backups), Pierre was ostensibly picked on throughout the preseason, allowing 12 catches on the 14 times he was targeted for 152 yards while also allowing a touchdown. He was consistently getting torched whenever he took the field.

Pierre does have some familiarity in Pittsburgh and has played decently on special teams in his career, but nothing he's shown so far this year says that he's going to have a positive impact on the defense this year.

If rookie cornerback Cory Trice hadn't gone down early in the offseason with a season-ending injury, there's a good argument to be made that the Purdue product would be on the 53-man roster over Pierre. But with an overall lack of depth in camp at the position, the veteran earned the spot.

However, you do have to wonder if that will be for long after the Steelers added former Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown to their practice squad on Wednesday. Maybe, maybe not -- but nothing Pierre has put on the field this preseason was worthy of making the roster.