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Steelers 2022 53-Man Roster Prediction: Defense

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Steelers 2022 53-Man Roster Prediction: Defense

The 2022 NFL Draft has been over for close to a month, and the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie minicamp has come and gone as well. The next team activity will be their organized team activities (OTA’s) that start this week. The 2022 off-season is just flying by.

As we look ahead to OTA’s and then the Steelers’ training camp, projecting who will end up making the team’s 53-man roster will continue to evolve. Below is my current projections for the 53-man roster that the team will have at the beginning of the 2022 regular season for the defensive positional groups, and check out my offensive and specialists predictions here!

 

Steelers’ Defensive Line (7)

Cameron Heyward

Stephon Tuitt

Tyson Alualu

DeMarvin Leal

Chris Wormley

Isaiahh Loudermilk

Montravius Adams

Defensive line depth has been the talk of the town the last couple weeks. There is some good talent in this group, but overall questions loom around the groups’ age and availability. Both Carlos and Khalil Davis miss this list, but one of them could be included if the team elects to keep 8 defensive linemen, which means they share the concern that a lot of Steeler Nation has. Pretty straight forward group otherwise, however.

 

Steelers’ Outside Linebackers (4)

T.J. Watt

Alex Highsmith

Gerald Avery

Derrek Tuszka

Similarly to the defensive line group, the outside linebackers is pretty cut and dry as it stands right now. Tyree Johnson is a bit of a boom or bust option who the team signed as an UDFA out of Texas A&M, but he probably is best served on the practice squad in year one to add some size. Overall, Watt and Highsmith are where this group starts and stops.

Pittsburgh Steelers' outside linebackers TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith

Pittsburgh Steelers’ OLBs TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith celebrate a sack. Credit: AP Photo

Steelers’ Inside Linebackers (5)

Myles Jack

Devin Bush

Robert Spillane

Buddy Johnson

Mark Robinson

This group might be the deepest on the entire Steelers’ roster. You could argue they have seven guys that should make an NFL roster, the five listed above and the two I left off, Marcus Allen and Ulysees Gilbert III.

I think the top four on this list are all pretty safe to make the team, which leaves Robinson, Allen, and Gilbert III fighting to prove themselves. The team has kept six inside linebackers in the past, but with the rest of their roster, I think only five make it. Robinson will have every chance to prove himself after being selected in the seventh round this year, so I am giving him the edge over the two veteran guys currently.

 

Steelers’ Cornerbacks (6)

Ahkello Witherspoon

Levi Wallace

Cameron Sutton

Arthur Maulet

Tre Norwood

Justin Layne

Like inside linebacker, this group is very deep with some murkiness down at the bottom. There is also some murkiness positionally, as both Norwood and recently signed Damontae Kazee could be listed as corners or safeties, so I split them up as I see them both making the team. If the team keeps six corners, which I believe they should, then the final spot comes down to Layne and James Pierre. Pierre started the first half of last season before not playing a snap on defense the final seven games of the season. Pairing that with Layne’s ability to be a very good asset on special teams has me rolling with Layne.

Pittsburgh Steelers' Cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon and Cameron Sutton

Steelers’ Cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon and Cameron Sutton against the Cleveland Browns in 2021. Credit: SteelersNow

Steelers’ Safeties (4)

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Terrell Edmunds

Damontae Kazee

Miles Killebrew

There isn’t much surprise here, although there are some people in Steeler Nation who would love to see Karl Joseph make the 53-man roster. Joseph likely settles back onto the Steelers’ practice squad like he did much of last season unfortunately. The starters from last year return in Fitzpatrick and Edmunds with Kazee being a new toy for the team to play with at multiple spots. Killebrew is also safe with his special team prowess being loved by the staff.

 

Well there you have it folks, the Steelers’ 53-man roster for the 2022 NFL season.

 

Let us know who you think might’ve been left off this list by commenting below!

#SteelerNation

I’ve been a freelance sports writer for several years, centered around football, baseball, basketball, and fantasy sports. I’m born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and a diehard Steelers fan. I love sharing my thoughts and opinions on all things sports, especially when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I also received my BS in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 2016, and have a career in Material Research and Development. Follow me on Twitter!

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