Here at Steelers Sanctuary we have a new series called Steelers players to watch.  Here we will be highlighting some of the lesser known players who could make an impact in 2020.  Our first candidate is Saeed Blacknall formerly of Penn St, and most recently the XFL.


6’2” – 210lbs

4.39 – 40 yard dash

32.5” broad – 127” vertical

33 3/8” arms

21 reps on bench

The first thing that pops out at you right away is that 4.39 speed.  That puts him in an elite class of receivers with that forty time.  His broad jump was pretty poor, but the 127” vertical was much better.  Blacknall put up 21 reps on the bench which is very good for a receiver.  This is an above average athlete with top end speed.


2014 – 10 rec  95 yds 1 td

2015 – 8 rec  248 yds  1 td

2016 – 15 rec 347 yds 3 tds

2017 – 17 rec 289 yds 2 tds

As you can see, Blacknall was far from a super productive player during his college career.  He had his best game in the 2016 Big 10 Championship against Wisconsin where he had 6 catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns.  Unfortunately Blacknall and his team mate Manny Bowen were both suspended for the team’s Rose Bowl appearance.  Details were not given other than a violation of team rules.

The Pros:

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be Saeed Blacknall’s fourth team in under three seasons in the NFL.  He has appeared in only one game, and that was as a member of the Oakland Raiders.  He does have a 45 yard pre-season touchdown on his resume, also while with Oakland.

Blacknall appeared in three games for the LA Wildcats of the XFL.  There he managed 4 receptions for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns. Through his many stops, he has proven to be a considerable deep threat at times.


While Saeed Blacknall has to be considered a long shot to make this team, he does have some intriguing talents.  He did not make the team in our initial 53 man roster prediction.  Way too early Steelers 53 man roster prediction

Blacknall’s  speed, and big play ability alone may be enough to earn him a practice squad spot for 2020.  The playing time and experience he gained in the XFL can only help him as he battles other less polished receivers on the back end of the roster.  Our prediction is Saeed Blacknall will be on the Steelers practice squad when the team begins the season. He will certainly be one of the Steelers to watch during this upcoming pre-season.