LATROBE, Pa. — Coach Mike Tomlin is nothing if not a follower of NFL rules, and so when the league asks him to submit a depth chart, he submits a depth chart. And based on its history, consumers of this information and/or those whose names appear on it somewhere are advised to regard it as something between nonsense and what Moses brought down from the engraved mountain. on stone tablets.
And so, without further ado, the Steelers’ 2022 depth chart, which absolutely should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention this offseason or anyone who’s learned how Tomlin operates at this time of year.
Naturally, the most important line for those who take the time to read this is the one that lists quarterbacks. As has been the case since the first snapshot of the first OTA in May, the quarterbacks are lined up as follows: Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph, Kenny Pickett and Chris Oladokun.
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So it goes with the rest of the attacking positions as well. The starting offensive line is listed, left to right, Dan Moore Jr., Kevin Dotson or Kendrick Green, Mason Cole, James Daniels and Chuks Okorafor. The starting wide receivers are Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson; at the tight end is Pat Freiermuth; running back is Najee Harris and fullback is Derek Watt.
As we saw in the list of quarterbacks, replacements for each position are usually organized by years of service, either in the NFL or with the Steelers, or sometimes by draft status.
As an example, Benny Snell (entering his fourth season) is #2 behind Harris, with Anthony McFarland Jr. (entering his third season) listed at #3. Therefore, as an example, the backups listed behind Johnson at wide receiver are Anthony Miller (fifth-year player), then Gunner Olszewski (fourth-year player), then Calvin Austin III (a rookie but a draft pick), then Tyler Snead (a rookie but not a draft pick).
A slight exception might be found in the backup receivers behind Claypool, as Cody White (second-year player) is listed as No. 2 with Miller (fifth-year player) listed as No. 3, but since Miller was already listed as Johnson’s main save, it makes sense that someone else would be listed as Claypool’s main save.
On defense, the starting linemen are Cam Heyward at defensive tackle, Tyson Alualu at nose tackle and Larry Ogunjobi at defensive end. At linebacker, it’s Devin Bush or Robert Spillane at left inside linebacker and Myles Jack at right inside linebacker as starters; TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith are the starters at outside linebacker. Cam Sutton is the starting right cornerback, with either Levi Wallace or Ahkello Witherspoon at left cornerback; safeties are Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick; and the nickel is Arthur Maulet.
If you’re looking for anomalies in the way defensive saves are set up, Tre Norwood (year two) is ranked No. 2 in free safety with Miles Killebrew (year seven) ranked No. 3 there; and James Pierre (third-year player) edges out Justin Layne (fourth-year player) as Sutton’s replacement at right cornerback.
Chris Boswell, Pressley Harvin and Christian Kuntz are the No. 1 placekicker, punter and snapper, respectively; and Olszewski is the main kickoff and punt returner, with Austin as the main backup in both places.
As Tomlin once said, “People want to draw depth maps this time of year, so be it. They change.”