NFL Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Dark Horse Candidates To Make The 53-Man Roster

Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Dark Horse Candidates To Make 53-Man Roster

Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh Steelers
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The NFL season is back in action, and that means Pittsburgh Steelers football is back. Training camp has past and the preseason has begun with many players fighting to make the final cut in Pittsburgh. Here are five dark horse players that Mike Tomlin and the Steelers could decide to keep on the roster for the regular season.

5. Rob Blanchflower

Pittsburgh Steelers Rob Blanchflower
Getty Images

5. Rob Blanchflower

Pittsburgh Steelers Rob Blanchflower
Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Rob Blanchflower in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft as a TE. He has come into camp with high praise from coaches and members of the media. Blanchflower will have some competition to earn a spot on the roster as a TE, as he will likely have to beat out incumbents Michael Palmer and David Paulson. If the Steelers decide to go with youth this year, Blanchflower could make the roster as the third-string TE.

4. Howard Jones

Howard Jones Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

4. Howard Jones

Howard Jones Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers signed Howard Jones after the 2014 NFL Draft as a free agent. He is a prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker, and that is the position he is learning with the Steelers. Jones shined in the team's first preseason game, recovering two fumbles and returning one for a touchdown, and coach Joey Porter loves him. Jones likely has to beat out veteran Chris Carter but with games like that, it will be hard to keep him off of the final roster.

3. Jordan Dangerfield

Jordan Dangerfield Buffalo Bills
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

3. Jordan Dangerfield

Jordan Dangerfield Buffalo Bills
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers picked up Jordan Dangerfield this offseason after he failed to make the cut with the Buffalo Bills last year as a rookie. Since training camp opened, Dangerfield has been making big plays and putting on a good showing in front of all of the coaches. Dangerfield is most likely fighting for the last defensive back spot with Robert Golden and Antwon Blake, but if he keeps impressing the coaches, he could come out on top in that battle.

2. Josh Mauro

Josh Mauro Stanford
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

2. Josh Mauro

Josh Mauro Stanford
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Mauro was another one of the Steelers' undrafted free agent signings. He fits best as a 3-4 defensive end, and he draws a lot of comparisons to a former Steelers DE Brett Keisel. Mauro had some competition in camp from Brian Arnfelt and Nick Williams, but he has seemed to blow past them on the roster. Mauro will still have to beat out those two players to earn a roster spot, but he is off to a good start.

1. Justin Brown

Justin Brown Pittsburgh Steelers
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

1. Justin Brown

Justin Brown Pittsburgh Steelers
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers drafted Justin Brown in the sixth round in the 2013 Draft, and he played on the practice squad last season. This year, he came into camp garnering high praise from everyone, including Ben Roethlisberger. Brown is the tall receiver the Steelers have been looking for and he only has to beat out veteran Darrius Heyward-Bey for a roster spot. Still, Heyward-Bey has a track record and Brown will have to work hard to make the final cut.

Justin Broyles is a Pirates writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on twitter @Tweets_ByJ, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.