Steelers Add Another Former Falcons Player: Report

Mike Tomlin Willington Previlon

Getty Head coach Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers claimed Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Willington Previlon off waivers according to Steelers Depot's Alex Kozora.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed another former Atlanta Falcons player, this time on defense. Steelers Depot’s Alex Kozora wrote on June 21 that the Steelers claimed defensive tackle Willington Previlon off waivers.

The Steelers reported the move on the NFL transaction sheet.

Prior to adding Previlon, the Steelers had already acquired four notable former Falcons players this offseason — all on offense. But unlike those four players, Previlon never played for former Atlanta head coach Arthur Smith.

The Falcons signed Previlon to a reserve/future contract on January 10. Atlanta fired Smith, who is the new Steelers offensive coordinator, two days prior.

Undrafted in 2020, Previlon experienced stints with the Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys during his first four NFL seasons. But he’s never appeared in a regular season game.

Steelers Claim DT Willington Previlon Off Waivers

With the addition to Previlon, the Steelers have a full offseason roster again and added depth to the interior of their defensive line.

Previlon played college football at Rutgers, where he posted 71 total tackles, including 11.5 tackles for loss, in his career. He also had 4 sacks and 3 pass defenses.

He registered 35 of those tackles, including 7.5 for loss and 1 sack during his senior season.

Standing at 287 pounds during his draft process, Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline called Previlon “undersized” but also labeled him as “explosive” and a player who had shown “versatility.”

“Previlon has nice length and growth potential and great athleticism,” Pauline wrote on March 30, 2020. “He’s still rough around the edges after he was moved around on the defensive line at Rutgers, but he comes with upside and should receive practice-squad consideration.”

Previlon is joining a Steelers roster which already had eight defensive tackles. The official Steelers roster, though, lists veterans such as Cameron Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi as defensive tackles, but they essentially split their 2023 snaps between defensive tackle and defensive end.

The four notable Falcons the Steelers signed this offseason were kick returner and running back Cordarrelle Patterson, wide receivers Van Jefferson and Scotty Miller and tight end MyCole Pruitt. All four of those players are familiar with Smith’s playbook.

Steelers Sign WR Jacob Copeland

A few hours before claiming Previlon, the Steelers announced signing wideout Jacob Copeland to a one-year contract.

Copeland returns to the Steelers after spending most of the 2023 regular season on the team’s practice squad. Pittsburgh released the 24-year-old receiver on December 4.

On January 10, Copeland signed a reserve/future contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. But the Chiefs waived him on May 4.

Like Previlon, Copeland began his career as an undrafted free agent. He has also never played in a regular season NFL game.

Copeland spent time with the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings before joining the Steelers practice squad in September 2023.

Copeland is the 11th receiver the Steelers have on their roster. The team doesn’t have a lot of top-of-the-line depth at the position, but Copeland will still likely find it difficult making the active roster after the preseason.

With the additions of Previlon and Copeland, the Steelers are back to having 91 players on their roster. Those two players will replace wide receiver Denzel Mims and safety Trenton Thompson, who the Steelers recently released.

Typically, NFL rosters consist of 90 players, but the Steelers are permitted to have an extra player because rookie outside linebacker Julian Welschof is part of the league’s international players program and is exempt from counting toward the roster.

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