Steelers Get Down To 53

Three virtual unknowns and CB Ross Cockrell join six draft picks on a Pittsburgh roster that's still evolving.

The Pittsburgh Steelers cut down to 52 players and then added free agent cornerback Ross Cockrell as the team begins its early practice week prior to Thursday night's game at New England.

Punter Brad Wing had been traded to the New York Giants on Friday for a conditional seventh-round draft pick.

That was good news for Jordan Berry, the first-year punter from Melbourne, Australia, by way of Eastern Kentucky University, where he finished his career in 2013 with a gross average of 43.4.

The cuts, as announced Saturday by the Steelers are: RBs Jawon Chisholm and Josh Harris, defensive linemen Matt Conrath, Ethan Hemer and Mike Thornton, safeties Jordan Dangerfield, Alden Darby and Gerod Holliman, offensive linemen Reese Dismukes, B.J. Finney and Doug Legursky, cornerbacks Kevin Fogg and B.W. Webb, linebackers L.J. Fort, Shayon Green and Howard Jones, and wide receivers Shakim Phillips and Jarrod West.

The Steelers placed offensive linemen Kelvin Palmer and Mitchell Van Dyk on the team’s Waived/Injured List.

Pittsburgh also signed Cockrell to a one-year contract. The 6-0, 190-pound Duke University product entered the NFL as a fourth-round (109th overall) draft selection of the Buffalo Bills in 2014 and appeared in seven games during his rookie season. He was released by Buffalo last month. Cockrell will wear No. 31.

All of those cut are eligible for the 10-man practice squad, which can be filled Sunday at 1 p.m. One cut may even replace Maurkice Pouncey, who will be placed on Injured Reserve with a designation to return after midseason.

Berry, who had a gross punting average of 49.8 yards this preseason with six kicks downed inside the 20 and only one touchback, isn't the only surprise newcomer to make the roster.

Roosevelt Nix, a former defensive tackle at Kent State, made the team as a fullback. The 5-11, 260-pounder didn't run the ball this preseason, nor did he catch or block particularly well, but he made three special-teams tackles and Thursday night blocked a punt that led to half of the Steelers' six points.

Undrafted rookie free agent Tyler Murphy also made the team at a new position. The former Boston College quarterback will be the Steeler's No. 5 wide receiver after catching eight passes for 90 yards and a touchdown this preseason. The 6-2, 213-pounder spent half of his practice time as a quarterback and will provide some versatility for the scout team.

The Steelers had six of their draft picks make the team: 1. Bud Dupree, 3. Sammie Coates, 4. Doran Grant, 5. Jesse James, 6a. L.T. Walton and 6b. Anthony Chickillo.

Here's a rundown of the complete Steelers roster today following the deadline:

Quarterbacks (3) -- Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick, Landry Jones.

Running backs (4) -- DeAngelo Williams, Dri Archer, Will Johnson, Nix (Le'Veon Bell suspended two games, exempt).

Wide receivers (5) -- Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Coates, Murphy (Martavis Bryant suspended four games, exempt).

Tight ends (3) -- Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, James.

Offensive linemen (8) -- Kelvin Beachum, Ramon Foster, Pouncey, David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, Cody Wallace, Chris Hubbard, Alejandro Villanueva.

Defensive linemen (6) -- Cameron Heyward, Steve McLendon, Stephon Tuitt, Cam Thomas, Walton, Daniel McCullers.

Linebackers (10) -- James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Arthur Moats, Jarvis Jones, Vince Williams, Sean Spence, Dupree, Terence Garvin, Chickillo.

Cornerbacks (6) -- William Gay, Cortez Allen, Antwon Blake, Brandon Boykin, Grant, Cockrell.

Safeties (5) -- Mike Mitchell, Shamarko Thomas, Will Allen, Robert Golden, Ross Ventrone.

Specialists (3) -- Greg Warren, Josh Scobee, Berry.

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