Did you know that if you check the rosters of all the team in the NFL, nearly 20 percent of the players went undrafted? I am not saying that they are starters, and I’ve broken it down statistically that your team’s best players on average are first round picks. This doesn’t change the fact that no team could function without these undrafted athletes who work that much harder than everyone else just to make the team. This year the Pittsburgh Steelers have a safety from the University of Arizona named Robert Golden who wants to be that guy.
I went back through my notes from the 2011 college football season to see what I had on Golden. I said he was solid in zone coverage, leader on the field, good speed and quickness, but was too aggressive and over confident leading to poor angles and missed plays. I didn’t have him graded as a draftable prospect.
While at Arizona he was a solid player and gathered significant experience against potent offenses. His size was good but not great, and the odds were against him. This is a young man who entered Arizona as a 5 star high school recruit with so much potential. As good as he was while a Wildcat, he was never the player we all thought he would be. But that didn’t stop him.
He was signed as a priority free agent by the Steelers and all he’s done since is wow the staff. He is working hard on special teams and
is making the most of his shot. His athletic ability and effort have impressed coaches.
My take. The competition for the 5th and 6th safety is wide open. Most consider Ryan Mundy and Will Allen a locks for the number 3 and 4 spots so assuming they can only keep two more, it’s between Golden, Da”mon Cromarite-Smith(who’s on the PUP right now), and Myron Rolle. This is great news for Golden because Comartie-Smith is probably more talented, but injured, and Rolle is super duper smart, but not super duper talented. Steelers safetys have a great opportunity, because assuming they make the final 53, the first game of the season the Steelers travel to Denver to take on the Broncos, which means starter Ryan Clark won’t be able to make the trip for health reasons. This means a great regular season shot to get reps. I am rooting for Golden because he’s an athletic hybrid corner/safety who could really help this team not just on special teams, but on defense as well. Fingers crossed he makes the team.