First Installment: Steelers Projected 53-Man Roster
With the Steelers 10 days through camp, every Monday we will project the Steelers 53-man Roster. The Next Roster Projection will be Monday, August 11, after the Steelers first preseason game:
Analysis: Landry Jones improvement in some areas and being a 4th round pick gives him another year to stick around, though, good arguments can be made to only keep two quarterbacks.
Running Backs (4)
Analysis: Word is the Steelers would like to carry 4 running backs excluding fullback/tight end Will Johnson, and will be looking closely at running backs who get cut. Tauren Poole is a candidate to make the team but will need to prove his worth on special teams. For now there is not a 4th running back worth keeping on the active roster.
Wide Receivers (5)
Analysis: Justin Brown’s emergence has Darrius Heyward-Bey the odd-man out going into the first preseason game. Martavis Bryant’s upside has his roster spot pretty secure
Tight Ends (3)
Analysis: Undrafted free agent Eric Waters is making some noise in camp but is on the outside looking in for now.
Offensive Line (9)
Analysis: The Steelers started last season with just 8 offensive lineman but here’s why I have them with 9 and wouldn’t be surprised at keeping 10. Mike Adams is having a dreadful camp and his lack of development puts pressure on the team to keep veteran Guy Whimper for insurance purposes at the tackle position. Steelers coaches really like the versatility and upside of 5th round pick Wesley Johnson, while Chris Hubbard remains very much in contention with Whimper and Johnson for one of the final spots. For now we have him as the last man out.
Defensive Line (6)
Analysis: Steelers being comfortable with Cam Thomas to play inside could lead to Fangupo’s roster spot being very much up in the air with the Steelers likely to keep massive NT Daniel McCullers. DE Brian Arnfelt is in the mix and could earn spot over Fangupo.
Analysis: Worilds, Timmons, Shazier, Jones, Williams, Moats and Spence (stays healthy) are the 7 locks. Last year Pittsburgh started the season with only 8. Coaches really like Terence Garvin and Chris Carter is in serious jeopardy of not making the team despite a lack of outside linebacker depth. The final roster spot if the Steelers go with 9 linebackers projects to come down to Carter, Jordan Zumwalt, and Howard Jones. Zumwalt gets the nod for now but if he can’t get healthy soon, he’ll easily be cut.
Analysis: I see four locks Cortez Allen, Ike Taylor, William Gay, Antwon Blake. However, the Steelers not being comfortable with two kids behind Allen, Taylor and Gay, has Brice McCain making the team in our first projection and the Steelers carrying six cornerbacks with this season likely being a development year for Shaquille Richardson who the Steelers might not be comfortable trying to get on the practice squad. The cornerback situation as a whole is wide open with Isaiah Green also in the mix. Final spots project to come down to Richardson, McCain, Green.
Analysis: Robert Golden is looked at by Special Teams coach Danny Smith as a core special teams contributor, which continues to give him an edge for now over training camp sensation Jordan Dangerfield. Lot’s of eyes will be on Dangerfield when the lights come on.
Shaun Suisham (K)
Adam Podlesh (P)
Greg Warren (LS)
Analysis: Podlesh has yet to show up to camp but we hear the coaches like him over Brad Wing.