Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have now played three preseason games so it’s time for me to adjust my 53-man roster prediction. It’s worth noting that this is a prediction related to the 53-man roster that shows up in Week 1 against the Washington Redskins as a needed IR move or two might wind up in some shuffling being done. I have included some analysis underneath each position group and I invite you to post your own predictions and differences in the comments below.
Once again, this is my prediction for the 53-man roster that is taken to Washington for the team’s first game of the 2016 regular season.
Quarterbacks (3) – Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Bruce Gradkowski ???
Analysis: The fact that the steelers have yet to place Gradkowski on their Reserve/Injured list can easily be seen as a sign that the team might keep him as their third quarterback. However, you still can’t rule out Gradkowski being shuffled off and back on to the 53-man roster as part of the final shuffle. It will be interesting to see how the team handles him during the final round of cuts.
Running Backs (3) – DeAngelo Williams, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Daryl Richardson
Analysis: With Bell now set to miss the first three regular season games, it’s easy to surmise that these three running backs will be the three the team dresses in Week 1.
Fullbacks (1) – Roosevelt Nix
Analysis: The only concerning thing with Nix right now is the fact that he missed the last preseason game with an injury and stands to miss the preseason finale as well.
Wide Receivers (5) – Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Sammie Coates, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Eli Rogers
Analysis: There is no need for the Steelers to carry six wide receivers. These should be their five to open the regular season.
Tight Ends (3) – Jesse James, David Johnson, Xavier Grimble ???
Analysis: Ladarius Green appears to be headed for Reserve/PUP and unless the Steelers find another tight end outside the organization during the final round of league roster cuts, Grimble should get the third spot.
Offensive Linemen (9) – Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert, Alejandro Villanueva, Ryan Harris, Cody Wallace, Chris Hubbard, B.J. Finney
Analysis: Now that rookie tackle Jerald Hawkins has been place on Reserve/Injured, it looks like Hubbard and Finney will both make the final 53. The only way one of the two doesn’t is if the team signs an experienced player outside the organization.
Defensive Linemen (6) – Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Daniel McCullers, Ricardo Mathews, Javon Hargrave, L.T. Walton
Analysis: This has been my six defensive linemen for a while now and I have no reason to change it up after three preseason games.
Inside Linebackers (5) – Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams, Steven Johnson, L.J. Fort
Analysis: This should come down to Fort versus Tyler Matakevich and I will be totally fine with whichever player is ultimately chosen. I still give the edge to Fort, however, as I think special teams coordinator Danny Smith values him more of the two players.
Outside Linebackers (5) – Bud Dupree, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats, James Harrison, Anthony Chickillo
Analysis: These five have been my choices for some time now and the team should be able to easily get rookie Travis Feeney to the practice squad.
Cornerbacks (5) – William Gay, Ross Cockrell, Artie Burns, Doran Grant, Player Not Currently On Roster ???
Analysis: When the dust settles a few days after the final roster cuts are made, I fully expect the fifth cornerback to be a player not currently on the 75-man roster. Remember, Senquez Golson will need to be on the initial 53 before being placed on Reserve/Injured.
Safeties (5) – Mike Mitchell, Robert Golden, Sean Davis, Shamarko Thomas, Jordan Dangerfield ???
Analysis: With Thomas currently dealing with a groin injury, the Steelers might have to temporarily carry a fifth safety so for now I will stick with Dangerfield being that player. If not him, perhaps it will be a player not currently on the roster.
Kicker (1) – Chris Boswell
Analysis: The Boz.
Punter (1) – Jordan Berry
Analysis: As expected, Will Monday was jettisoned this past week so the team moves forward with Berry.
Long Snapper (1) – Greg Warren
Analysis: Long live Warren.
Reserve/Injured (2) – Senquez Golson, Jerald Hawkins
Analysis: No explanation needed.
Reserve/Suspended (2) – Martavis Bryant, Le’Veon Bell
Analysis: No explanation needed.
Reserve/PUP (1) – Ladarius Green
Analysis: Until Green is activated, I have no choice but to assume he won’t be ready for the start of the regular season.
Practice Squad (10) – Paul Lang, Tyler Matakevich, Caushaud Lyons, Demarcus Ayers, Travis Feeney, Brandon Brown-Dukes, Al-Hajj Shabazz, Devaunte Sigler, Matt Feiler, Cobi Hamilton
Analysis: Always fluid group of 10.