Former ‘Tough Man’ Winner Takes Devin Bush’s Place on Steelers Roster

Henry Mondeaux Ulysees Gilbert Steelers

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images Henry Mondeaux and Ulysees Gilbert of the Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Reggie Bonnafon of the Carolina Panthers during a preseason game on August 29, 2019.

On Friday the Pittsburgh Steelers made a series of roster moves, including releasing punter Dustin Colquitt and placing inside linebacker Devin Bush on injured reserve.

To take Bush’s place, the Steelers elevated defensive end Henry Mondeaux from the practice squad to the active/inactive roster. Mondeaux, 25, has been a “protected” member of the practice squad since the beginning of the 2020 season.


Henry Mondeaux’s NFL Journey

Mondeaux (6-foot-4 and 280 pounds) played his college football at the University of Oregon and originally signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent following the 2018 NFL Draft. During his senior year at Oregon he started 13 games, finishing the year with 45 tackles and five sacks. That season he also won the team’s Tough Man Award (for his “will to win”); a year earlier he won the Joe Schaffeld Trophy as the team’s most outstanding defensive lineman.

Mondeaux was with the Saints during training camp and signed to the New Orleans practice squad before the last game of the 2018 season. He subsequently spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs before landing on Pittsburgh’s practice squad for the 2019 campaign.

Mondeaux will wear No. 99, formerly worn by defensive end Brett Keisel.


LB Rayshaun Wilborn Added to Practice Squad

Meanwhile, on Friday the Steelers also signed rookie linebacker Ray Wilborn to the team’s practice squad. Mike Tomlin & Co. had Wilborn in for a visit on Monday, on the same day the team hosted former Steelers punter Jordan Berry.

Wilborn (6-foot-4 and 224 pounds) signed as an undrafted free agent with the Atlanta Falcons following the 2020 NFL Draft but was waived on September 5 and not added to Atlanta’s practice squad. Nor did he catch on with Green Bay after a mid-September tryout with the Packers.

Most likely, the Steelers will be evaluating Wilborn in terms of his potential to play inside linebacker, despite the fact that he played safety and outside linebacker at Ball State University.

“He so versatile,” said Ball State head coach Mike Neu about Wilborn prior to the 2020 NFL Draft. “You can have a vision for him and depending on what you do from a defensive standpoint, there’s so many different things that you could say, ‘I visualize him performing that role,’ which is what I think is so unique about a guy like Ray.”

Wilborn also has a reputation for being a hard worker and for being compliant.

“He is eager and he is flexible and he is extremely coachable,” said Ball State defensive backs coach Mike Dietzel in the above-linked article. “He’ll pick up whatever they’re telling him to do and he’ll try to do it as hard as he can. He wants to please. He wants to do it exactly right, however you want him to do it.”

In 2018, Wilborn played outside linebacker for the Cardinals and led the team with 83 tackles, including 10.5 tackles for loss.

In 2019, he started 12 games at safety and finished third on the team in tackles with 83 and fourth in passes defensed with six.

He also collected three interceptions during the two years he spent at Ball State, and his coverage skills are perhaps his greatest strength (as a linebacker).

Before Wilborn played at Ball State he attended Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kansas.

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