LATROBE, Pa. — Coach Mike Tomlin is not an NFL rule booker, so when the league requires him to provide a depth chart, he provides a depth chart. And based on his story, users of this information and/or those whose names appear somewhere in it are advised to treat it as something between nonsense and what Moses brought down the mountain engraved on stone tablets.
So, without further ado, the Steelers in 2022. a depth chart that shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention this offseason, or anyone who’s learned how Tomlin operates this time of year.
Naturally, for those who take the time to read, the line that lists the quarterbacks is very important. As they have been since the first OTAs in May, the quarterbacks line up as follows: Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph, Kenny Pickett and Chris Oladokun.
So that goes for the rest of the positions in the offense as well. The starting offensive line, from left to right, is 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 tight end it’s Pat Freiermuth; the linebacker is Najee Harris and the fullback is Derek Watt.
As we saw with the quarterback list, the backups at each position are usually ranked by years of service with the NFL or the Steelers, or sometimes by rookie status.
For example, Benny Snell (entering his fourth season) is listed at No. 2 behind Harris, while Anthony McFarland Jr. (entering his third season) is listed at No. 3. Johnson is Anthony Miller (fifth-year player), then Gunner Olszewski (fourth-year player), Calvin Austin III (rookie but rookie), and then Tyler Snead (rookie but not rookie).
One slight exception can be found at the backup receivers behind Claypool, as Cody White (sophomore) is listed as the 2 and Miller (fifth-year) as the 3, but since Miller was already listed as the primary backup to Johnson, it makes sense that someone else would be listed as Claypool’s primary backup.
On defense, the starting linemen are Cam Heyward at defensive end, Tyson Alualu at nose tackle and Larry Ogunjobi at defensive end. The starters are either Devin Bush or Robert Spillane on the left side and Myles Jack on the right. 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; safeties are Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick; and the nickel is Arthur Maulet.
If you’re looking for anomalies in the placement of defensive backups, Tre Norwood (sophomore) is the No. 2 free safety and Miles Killebrew (seventh-year player) is No. 3; and James Pierre (third-year player) ahead of Justin Layne (fourth-year player) as Sutton’s backup at right corner.
Chris Boswell, Pressley Harvin and Christian Kuntz are the No. 1 shortstop, shortstop and shortstop, respectively. Olszewski is the primary punter and punt returner, while Austin is the primary backup at both spots.
As Tomlin once said, “People want to draw depth charts this time of year, so be it. They are changing.”