90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Linden Stephens, Jace Sternberger, Donovan Stiner – Steelers Depot

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 offseason practices concluded last week, and next up for the team is their annual training camp, which should get underway in the latter part of July at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. Ahead of Steelers’ training camp getting underway, we will preview the team’s offseason roster three players at a time for you as part of a 30-post series. This Steelers’ roster preview, which includes outlooks for each player, will be done alphabetically by last name to make it easy to follow along with.
The next three players we will preview ahead of Steelers training camp are Linden Stephens, Jace Sternberger, and Donovan Stiner.
CB Linden Stephens: A former 2018 undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati, Stephens, who originally entered the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, was signed to the Steelers practice squad last October. He was cut once from the unit in December but was re-signed a few days later. He also spent a week in December on the Steelers COVID-19 list. After the 2021 season ended, the Steelers re-signed Stephens to a Reserve/Future contract. To date, Stephens has played in 16 total NFL games with the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks. He has recorded six career tackles to date and logged 65 total defensive snaps to go along with 189 special teams snaps. His last NFL snaps came in 2020 with the Seahawks.
Outlook: The fact that Stephens has bounced around to so many teams since 2019, eight different ones in total, isn’t a great sign overall. The Steelers have quite a few other cornerbacks currently under contract and that means Stephens will have a tough time sticking around for the entire preseason. If he manages to make it through all of training camp and all three preseason games, Stephens could ultimately land back on the Steelers practice squad to start the 2022 regular season. That’s not unthinkable as he does have limited NFL experience under his belt. It’s also possible that he winds up not making it past the first round of cuts.
TE Jace Sternberger: Last November, the Steelers signed Sternberger to their practice squad and he spent the rest of the 2021 season on that unit. Sternberger was originally drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M. In his two seasons with the Packers, Sternberger played in 18 total regular season games on his way to registering 12 receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. He’s logged 262 total offensive snaps to date and 143 more on special teams. For his entire college career, Sternberger, who also played at Kansas, recorded 49 total catches for 832 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also rushed once for 4 yards. Nearly all his college stats came in his final college season at Texas A&M.
Outlook: Sternberger is basically a draft pedigree reclamation project that the Steelers took on late last season. He will enter training camp near the bottom of the Steelers tight end depth chart and thus his chances of making the 53-man roster to start the 2022 regular season are very slim. Sternberger is just an average run blocker and he’s not much of a special teams asset to boot and that doesn’t bode well for him unless he shows marked improvement in both areas during training camp and the preseason. A more realistic outlook for Sternberger this summer is him showing enough to warrant being signed to the team’s practice squad. He was clearly over-drafted by the Packers.
S Donovan Stiner: After being signed by the Steelers in 2021 as an undrafted free agent out of Florida, Stiner went on to spend the entire season on the team’s practice squad. The young safety finished his college career in 2020 with 145 total tackles and six interceptions in playing in 41 games played. At his 2021 pro day, Stiner measured in at 6014, 205 pounds. He reportedly ran his 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds and did 15 reps on the bench.
Outlook: Like last summer, Stiner will be battling for a backup safety spot during training camp and the preseason. While he seems to be a versatile safety, Stiner might be better suited to play closer to the line of scrimmage than deep. His best shot at making the 53-man roster later this summer likely revolves around him being top-notch special teams contributor and one that can play on all four units. Even so, it still might take an injury for Stiner to make the 53-man roster in September. The best bet when it comes to Stiner’s future come the start of the 2022 regular season is that he once again lands on the Steelers practice squad.
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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
Articles: 5251

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