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Insider Only First Installment: Steelers Projected 53-man Roster

Steelers 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:
Quarterbacks (3)
Ben Roethlisberger
Bruce Gradkowski
Landry Jones
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)
Le’Veon Bell
LeGarrette Blount
Dri Archer
Will Johnson
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)
Antonio Brown
Markus Wheaton
Lance Moore
Justin Brown
Martavis Bryant
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)
Heath Miller
Matt Spaeth
Michael Palmer
Analysis: Undrafted free agent Eric Waters is making some noise in camp but is on the outside looking in for now.

Offensive Line (9)
Kelvin Beachum
Ramon Foster
Maurkice Pouncey
David DeCastro
Marcus Gilbert
Cody Wallace
Mike Adams
Guy Whimper
Wesley Johnson
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)
Stephon Tuitt
Steve McLendon
Cam Heyward
Cam Thomas
Hebron Fangupo
Daniel McCullers
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.

Linebackers (9)
Jason Worilds
Lawerence Timmons
Ryan Shazier
Jarvis Jones
Vince Williams
Arthur Moats
Sean Spence
Terence Garvin
Jordan Zumwalt
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.

Cornerbacks (6)
Cortez Allen
Ike Taylor
William Gay
Brice McCain
Antwon Blake
Shaquille Richardson
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.

Safeties (5)
Troy Polamalu
Mike Mitchell
Will Allen
Shamarko Thomas
Robert Golden
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.

Specialists (3)
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.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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