2023 Steelers Post-Draft Roster Review: Special Teams
The major events of the 2023 NFL offseason are now complete. With the free agency period and the NFL Draft now behind us, we look ahead at how the Steelers roster has molded from the end of last season until now, and evaluate those changes heading toward training camp, the preseason, and the regular season.
End of Season Depth Chart
- Pressley Harvin, III (Punter)
- Chris Boswell (PK/K)
- Christian Kuntz (LS)
- Steven Sims (KR/PR)
- Gunner Olszewski (KR/PR)
While nearly every Pittsburgh Steelers fan will believe that Chris Boswell was handling kickoffs and field goals the entirety of the 2022 NFL regular season, he was absent in Week 8 and appeared in just 12 games due to being placed in the injured/reserved list until he was reactivated in Week 14.
That required the Steelers to bring in a familiar face in Matthew Wright. Wright was serviceable as a backup option. In four games in Pittsburgh, Wright converted one-of-one field goal at the 20-29 yard range, five-of-six at the 30-39 yard range, five-of-six at the 40-49 yard range, and successfully hit his one and only field goal at the 50/50+ mark. Wright also spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs last season.
Memorable moment: Boswell broke his own record for the longest field goal made at the Acrisure Stadium location when he nailed a 59-yarder in Week 4 against the New York Jets.
Harvin was once again hit-and-miss during the 2022 NFL regular season in the punting game. There’s no doubt he has a big leg, but accuracy continued to plague his play.
In April, the Steelers claimed punter Braden Mann off of waivers from the New York Jets, possibly as a result of questions about Harvin or as competition.
Kuntz was offered, and signed, a new one-year deal to remain with the Steelers through the 2023 NFL season.
Post-Draft Position Roster
The Steelers didn’t address the three skill positions (placekicker, punter, or long-snapper) during the 2023 NFL Draft. There were, obviously, more pressing needs.
Saying that, Pittsburgh did add rookie free agent B.T. Potter (K, Clemson), following the draft.
- Chris Boswell (K)
- B.T. Potter (K)
- Pressley Harvin III (P)
- Braden Mann (P)
- Christian Kuntz (LS)
- TBD (KR/PR)
With Sims on to other pastures, rookie receiver Jordan Byrd (San Diego State) may be the next kick-and-punt returner asked to step up on special teams next to Olszewski. Byrd, a multi-talented track star who played halfback as well for the Aztecs may have gone undrafted due to his size: 5’9″, 170 pounds.
His speed, burst, and ability to elude defenders looks to be a natural talent, however. Byrd may just be the biggest sleeper Steelers fans see break out in training camp.
As for the kicker and punter positions, it’s a tradition to have at least one extra guy in the wings at camp. What will be interesting is if a battle truly heats up between Harvin and Mann because the Steelers special teams unit being able to pin opponents on punts would be a welcome boost to a young offense that is looking to break out in 2023.