The end of the 2019 NFL Draft didn’t mean the end of additions to the roster for the Steelers.
The team agreed to terms with 11 rookie free agents once the draft concluded.
For safety Dravon Askew-Henry joining the Steelers is an opportunity to play for his hometown team. Askew-Henry, who played at West Virginia, went to Aliquippa High School in the Pittsburgh area. He started in 51 games for West Virginia, finishing his career with 215 tackles, including 162 solo stops, six interceptions and 10 passes defensed.
He is joined by another safety, P.J. Locke from Texas. Locke played in 47 games, starting 31, at Texas. His senior season he finished third on the team with 77 tackles, 57 solo stops, and had five and a half tackles for a loss, one interception, two forced fumbles, three pass breakups and one quarterback hurry. He was also named honorable mention All-Big 12.
The team added a few specialists, including punter Ian Berryman from Western Carolina and kicker Matthew Wright, who played at Central Florida. Berryman finished his college career as the school’s all-time leader with a 43.8 yard per punt average and had 82 of his 206 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. Wright holds the record at Central Florida for most points in a career with 375 and field goals made with 55. He also has the record for PATs with 212, including 153 in a row.
The team added guards Garrett Brumfield from LSU and Fred Johnson from Florida. Brumfield had a total of 22 career starts and was named second-team All-SEC in 2017. Johnson started all 13 games in 2018 and a total of 33 in his college career.
A pair of defensive linemen will join the black and gold, Jay Hayes from Georgia and Chris Nelson from Texas. Hayes played in 11 games in 2018 and finished with three stops. He transferred from Notre Dame where he started 13 games in 2017 with 27 tackles, and a total of 39 tackles. Nelson, a captain his senior year, played in 45 career games with 29 starts. He had 39 tackles his senior season, including 5 ½ for a loss.
Running back Travon McMillian from Colorado finished his senior season, his only year with the Buffaloes, rushing for 1,009 yards on 201 carries with seven touchdowns. He also had 14 receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown.
Cornerback Alexander Myres from Houston finished the 2018 season with 63 tackles, including 53 solo stops, and one interception. He also had six pass defenses.
A player who brings versatility is Trevor Wood, a tight end/long snapper from Texas A&M. Wood played in 12 games in 2018, starting six, and had two receptions for 17 yards.
Below is a list of the 11 rookie free agents.
Name, Position, School
Dravon Askew-Henry, S, West Virginia
Ian Berryman, P, Western Carolina
Garrett Brumfield, G, LSU
Jay Hayes, DE, Georgia
Fred Johnson, G, Florida
P.J. Locke, S, Texas
Travon McMillian, RB, Colorado
Alexander Myres, CB, Houston
Chris Nelson, DT, Texas
Trevor Wood, TE/LS, Texas A&M
Matthew Wright, K, Central Florida