Steelers 2-a-days: Undrafted rookie OT Jordan Tucker, reserve OLB Derrek Tuszka – TribLIVE

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Editor’s note: From now until the first practice of training camp at Saint Vincent College, the Trib will be running through the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 90-man roster, assessing each player’s outlook for the 2022 season. The breakdown will go through the roster in mostly-alphabetical order, two per day, between June 11 and July 25. Contract data courtesy spotrac.com.
OT JORDAN TUCKER
Experience: Rookie
Contract status: $710,00 cap hit if he makes the active roster in 2022, signed through 2024
2022 outlook: The Steelers have a history developing undrafted offensive linemen, and at 6-foot-6, 340 pounds, Tucker is quite the ideal body size to work with. A three-year starter at right tackle for North Carolina, Tucker made one start as a freshman at left tackle. It’s likely the Steelers view him as an option on the right side, though, where Chuks Okorafor was re-signed to a contract that is in effect a year-to-year deal from the team perspective.
There are some veteran backups at tackle on the camp roster (Joe Haeg, Trent Scott, Chaz Green) but when it comes to young developmental tackles, Tucker is probably competing with fellow undrafted rookie Jake Dixon for what in 2022 is likely a practice-squad spot.
???????? Derrek Tuszka ????????#ProBison making an impact on Monday Night Football. pic.twitter.com/EEfk5n3C0S
— NDSU Football (@NDSUfootball) January 4, 2022

OLB DERREK TUSZKA
Experience: 24 regular-season games the past two seasons; 15 for the Steelers in 2021
Contract status: $895,000 cap hit if he makes the active roster in 2022, after which scheduled for restricted free agency
2022 outlook: When the Steelers signed Tuszka to their practice squad the week prior to last season’s opener, they probably never envisioned he would appear in 16 of their games (including playoffs) and play about a quarter of the defensive snaps in them. But injuries to T.J. Watt and the disgruntlement of veteran Melvin Ingram led to a dearth of availability at the edge position, necessitating the deployment of Tuszka.
Overall, he wasn’t bad for a player who’d been a seventh-round pick in 2020 out of FCS North Dakota State and had mostly just been a special teamer over the nine games he was active for the Denver Broncos as a rookie. Tuszka had two sacks, 26 tackles (14 solo), two for loss and a forced fumble among his 257 snaps played in the 16 games he was in uniform for the Steelers in 2021.
The Steelers signed veteran Genard Avery but did not make any additions to outside linebacker via the draft. That means a roster spot is Tuszka’s to lose, especially because he has special-teams value.
Hey, Steelers Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at cadamski@triblive.com or via Twitter .
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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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