Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers added defensive end Daniel Archibong to the team reserve/phase-out list, who opens a spot in the 90-man squad just a week before the start of training camp. Now the Steelers appear to be planning to replace Archibong with another defenseman.
According to Field Yates, NFL insider for ESPN, the Steelers held tryouts with five defensemen who played in the USFL this year, two of whom have previous NFL experience. The five linemen in question are: Doug Costin, Freedom Akinmoladun, Domenique Davis, Dondrea Tillman and Willie Yarbary.
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Doug Costin, 24, is the most successful of the five, at least in terms of regular-season games played in the NFL. The former undrafted free agent from Miami of Ohio appeared in 13 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars over the past two seasons, including the nine starts he made in 2020.
Listed as a defensive tackle by Pro Football Reference, he is 6’2, weighs 295 pounds and has recorded 33 total tackles in the regular season, including 13 solo stops, three tackles for loss, two passes defended, a quarterback hit and a fiddly recovery. He played for the Birmingham Stallions that spring, where he was a teammate of former Steelers cornerback Brian Allen and former Steelers running back Tony Brooks-James.
The second most successful player on the above list is Freedom Akinmoladun, 26, who is 6ft 3, weighs 284 pounds and played his college football in Nebraska. He has appeared in a total of five NFL regular-season games, four of which came in 2019-20 with the Cincinnati Bengals and one with the 2021 New York Jets. During those games, he was credited with four tackles, three of which were solo stops. He was a second-round pick in this year’s USFL Draft and played for the Philadelphia Stars.
The other three tryout linemen have never appeared in an NFL regular-season game.
Domenique Davis — 6-foot-3 and 315 pounds — had 24 tackles and four sacks while playing defensive tackles for the Houston Gamblers. He played collegiately at UNC-Pembroke, a Division II program.
Dondrea Tillman had 20 tackles and two sacks as a defensive end for the Birmingham Stallions after playing for another Division II school, IUP Red Hawks.
Last but not least there is Willie Yarbary, 26, Also by the Stallions who had 15 tackles and four sacks for Birmingham in 2022. He played his college football at Wake Forest between 2015 and 2018. A native of Augusta, Georgia, he appeared in 49 career games for the Demon Deacons in which he was credited with 116 total tackles, including 65 solo stops, 21.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks.
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In other recent news, Elijah Green, the 18-year-old son of former Steelers first-round pick Eric Green, was drafted 5th overall by the Washington Nationals in the 2022 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. Green played tight end for the Steelers for five years between 1990 and 1994 and won Pro Bowl honors in Pittsburgh in his final two seasons. His son is a right-handed outfielder at IMG Academy in Florida.
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