Prior to being selected in the 2015 NFL Draft, Anthony Chickillo was 6′ 3″ and almost 270 lbs. He graded out as high a third-round pick but eventually went in the 6th round to the Steelers. Within minutes of selecting him, outside linebackers’ coach Joey Porter went on Steelers Nation Radio and made no bones about the Steelers’ intentions with him.
“We plan to move him to outside linebacker,” said Porter. That was back in the first week of May.
When camp started, Chickillo had dropped forty pounds as part of his transition to the outside linebacker position. I’m still scratching my head as to why the Steelers felt that this was Chickillo’s best option. The team was already very deep at outside linebacker and his chances of making the roster there appeared to be much slimmer compared to if he had stayed at defensive end.
So here we are now less than a week away from the opener in New England and the Steelers find themselves incredibly thin and weak at the defensive end spot. Where does Anthony Chickillo find himself today?
In a place that he really doesn’t deserve be in quite frankly. The chances of him making the roster as an outside backer were slim. Initially of course, Chickillo had made the roster only to find out he was cut today.
The major reason that the Steelers’ decision to move him away from defensive end looks even worse today is not just because of the poor depth there. It’s because Chickillo would have been a perfect fit for the four-man front the Steelers have used so much during the preseason.
I’m of the opinion that Chickillo deserved better. The young man was a very good collegiate defensive end at a big-name school. Will some team now pick him up, pack the weight back on and let him play his more natural defensive end?
There’s a darn good chance of that. I don’t think Chickillo is on his way to being an all-pro or anything like that but it sure would have been nice to see what he could have done at a position where the Steelers desperately need help. Instead, he goes down as yet another wasted draft pick by this front office.