Steelers 2-a-days: Talented Travon McMillian seeks role; Donte Moncrief the No. 2, 3 or 4 WR? | TribLIVE.com
Steelers/NFL

Steelers 2-a-days: Talented Travon McMillian seeks role; Donte Moncrief the No. 2, 3 or 4 WR?

Chris Adamski
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Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Donte Moncrief, right, catches a pass in front of Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

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 2019 season. The breakdown will go through the roster in mostly-alphabetical order, (at least) two per day, between June 14 and July 26.

RB TRAVON MCMILLIAN

Experience: Rookie

Contract status: $495,000 cap hit in 2019, Steelers control his rights for four accrued seasons

2019 outlook: McMillian was a former highly-recruited quarterback prospect who was quickly moved to running back at Virginia Tech, where he had a 1,000-yard season as a freshman in 2015. He would have another 1,000-yard season as a graduate transfer for Colorado in 2018. With 3,162 rushing yards in his career, the 6-0, 209-pound McMillian’s credentials as a ballcarrier check out. But he doesn’t have much of a track record catching the ball out of the backfield, so that puts into question a potential complementary role to the more established and higher-pedigree likes of James Conner, Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell among Steelers running backs. Still, like all undrafted rookies, if McMillian can show proficiency in special teams, his athleticism is intriguing enough that he could at least contend for a practice-squad spot.

WR DONTE MONCRIEF

Experience: 6th season

Contract status: $3.25 million cap hit in 2019 in first year of two-year deal ($5.75 million in ‘20)

2019 outlook: The Steelers signed Moncrief in March to serve as insurance to be the No. 2 outside wide receiver, but — deep down — with the hopes that he could be a great luxury to have as a No. 3 or No. 4 (with slot receivers Eli Rogers and Ryan Switzer also fitting into the mix.). Where Moncrief settles in on the Steelers’ WR pecking order probably won’t be determined by him as much as it will be by youngsters James Washington and Diontae Johnson. If Washington lives up to his potential and Johnson becomes what the Steelers saw in him when they took him much higher in April’s draft than most thought he’d go, then what Moncrief does won’t matter: he will be wonderful depth. He has 200 receptions and 21 touchdowns in five NFL seasons but hasn’t played a full season with a competent quarterback since he was a rookie.

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Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
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