Final Steelers 53-Man Roster Projection

QBs: Ben Roethlisberger, Josh Dobbs, Mason Rudolph

Risky call I’m going with here. May be slightly biased, but Dobbs just looks to have so much more potential than Jones. He looked great against the Panthers and has gotten better every day. Landry Jones is a Free Agent at the end of the year anyways, while Dobbs will have two more years on his contract. I can see why they would want to keep Landry, (leadership, experience, consistency) but don’t forget how he almost throw away the game against the Bengals a couple of years ago, in the playoffs. He has shown he can play in the regular season, but there has been almost no indication he can make big plays in big moments, like in the playoffs. Dobbs offers that upside, Tomlin loves him, and his legs are a weapon the Steelers haven’t really had since Kordell Stewart.

RBs: Le’Veon Bell, James Connor, Jaylen Samuels

Steelers only go with three RBs, with no one else really impressing. Samuels has been decent, but will make the team due to his versatility and upside. Ridley, if he remains a FA after the Steelers release him, is probably on the top of the list to return in the case of an injury.

FB: Rosie Nix

No explanation needed.

WR: Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Justin Hunter, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Ryan Switzer

With the recent trade for Ryan Switzer, the last WR spot on the roster is secured. Switzer knocks off Damoun Patterson, who had a strong preseason, but is dealing with an injury and has been inconsistent at times. Hunter and Heyward-Bey make it, as they offer special teams ability, experience, and athleticism. Patterson and Tevin Jones miss the cut, but will likely be in consideration for the Steelers practice squad. Marcus Tucker, who has been inconsistent but is a special teams stud and has upside, could make the practice squad as well. Eli Rogers will start the year on PUP, so he won’t count against the 53 just yet.

TE: Vance McDonald,  Jesse James, Xavier Grimble

The Steelers stick with this trio. Grimble hangs on for another year, though if the Steelers had more competition on their roster, he may not have. Grimble still has tremendous upside and athleticism, but is nowhere close to capitalizing on it. Bucky Hodges was the only real competitor for that No. 3 spot, and while he had a solid game Week 4 against the Panthers, he has been awfully quiet otherwise.

OL: Alejandro Villanueva, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, Chuks Okarafor, Matt Feiler, B.J. Finney.

Looks about the same except Okarafor replaces the injured Jerald Hawkins. Feiler and Finney are two versatile T/G/C who the Steelers love.

DL: Stephon Tuitt, Cameron Heyward, L.T. Walton, Tyson Alualu, Javon Hargrave, Daniel McCullers

Same bunch as last year, with McCullers holding out for one more year. He has shown great effort and hustle this year, and can be the run-stuffer the team has wanted for so long. Lavon Hooks, who has been having a very strong camp and preseason, will challenge McCullers for the job, but likely won’t get it. He will be fighting with Joshua Frazier for a spot on the practice squad.

OLB/EDGE: TJ Watt, Bud Dupree, Anthony Chickillo, Keion Adams, Ola Adeniyi

Adeniyi is the big addition here. As an UDFA coming out of Toledo, Ola Adeniyi has been impressive. With two forced fumbles over the course of 4 games, Adeniyi has shown that he can bring heat off the edge. The team has young, consistent EDGE rushers for a while, and the pair of Keion Adams and Ola Adeniyi should be able to fill in those roles.

ILB: Vince Williams, Tyler Matakevich, Jon Bostic, Mathew Thomas, L.J. Fort

10 linebackers. 5 Inside, 5 outside. It’s unlikely but not impossible. Williams is the starting MIKE LB and, with his recent contract extension, has secured his spot. Matakevich is a special teams ace and is fighting for the WILL spot across Williams. He’s a tackling machine who’s solid in the run game and is always around the ball. Bostic is an experienced LB who seems to be the starting WILL, though he’ll likely lose the job to one of the younger guys a few weeks in. Thomas is a speedy, athletic ILB with the most upside of the bunch, and, though he was a UDFA, he may be able to take the starting job a few weeks into the season. Finally, there’s L.J. Fort, an underrated athlete who is great on special teams and solid in coverage. With Shazier gone, the Steelers may have to go with a rotation of sorts, and 5 ILBs may be the only way to do so.

CB: Joe Haden, Artie Burns, Mike Hilton, Cameron Sutton, Brian Allen, Coty Sensebaugh

First five corners a lock, but the question is the 6th. Sensebaugh has had a strong camp and, along with Joe Haden, is one of the few veterans in a young secondary.

S: Morgan Burnett, Sean Davis, Terrell Edmunds, Nate Behre

The Steelers stick with 4 safeties, with Marcus Allen and Malik Golden getting close, but not making the roster. Allen really only contributed Week 4 of the preseason (though he injured his only real compitetion, Malik Golden, in the process), but the upside is showing. Golden, who, as mentioned earlier, will likely spend the year on Injured Reserve.

K: Chris Boswell

P: Jordan Berry

LS: Kameron Canaday

Practice Squad:

WR: Marcus Tucker, Damoun Patterson, Tevin Jones

TE: Bucky Hodges, Christian Scotland-Williamson

OL: R.J. Prince, Zach Banner

DL: Lavon Hooks

LB: Farrington Huguenin

CB: Jamar Summers

S: Marcus Allen


Injured Reserve: Jerald Hawkins, Malik Golden, Trey Johnson, Ryan Malleck, Jake McGee

PUP: Eli Rogers

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