With the 2017 NFL Draft now completed it’s time for my to throw out my initial 53-man roster prediction for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As usual, I have included some analysis underneath each position group and I invite you to post your own differences in the comments below along with your own 53-man roster prediction.
My next stab at the Steelers 53-man roster will likely be posted right before the team reports to training camp and after that one will come after each and every preseason game.
Quarterbacks (3) – Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Joshua Dobbs
Analysis: The Steelers mercifully released Zach Mettenberger after Dobbs was drafted and that makes the selection of these three even easier than it already was.
Running Backs (3) – Le’Veon Bell, Knile Davis, James Conner
Analysis: Can Conner overtake Davis as the No. 2 at some point? As things stand right now, Davis might be the Steelers kickoff returner in 2017.
Fullbacks (1) – Roosevelt Nix
Analysis: It’s really hard to imagine Nix not winning this job once again as not only is he a solid fullback, he’s a solid special teams player to boot.
Wide Receivers (6) – Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Sammie Coates, Eli Rogers, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Darrius Heyward-Bey
Analysis: Brown and Smith-Schuster are obviously locks and one would think Bryant will be as well as long as he walks the straight and narrow moving forward. As far as the rest of the group, there figures to be some great training battles forthcoming. Heyward-Bey’s path is mainly special teams related and there’s no guarantee the Steelers keep six total wide receivers. Cobi Hamilton, Demarcus Ayers and Justin Hunter are all outsiders at this point, in my opinion.
Tight Ends (4) – Ladarius Green, Jesse James, David Johnson, Xavier Grimble
Analysis: The Steelers signed Johnson to a two-year contract and while he’s still very much cuttable, there’s some level of confidence in him it appears and especially if he can continue to contribute on special teams. Grimble is a huge question mark right now and the same can likely be said about Green considering his concussion history. There’s no guarantee four in total will make it.
Offensive Linemen (8) – Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert, Alejandro Villanueva, B.J. Finney, Chris Hubbard, Jerald Hawkins
Analysis: After missing his rookie season with a shoulder injury, Hawkins still has a lot to prove and thus he’s not a lock. While Hubbard has been a fixture for a few seasons now, he’ll once again need to win out again during training camp. Brian Mihalik probably remains a possibility.
Defensive Linemen (6) – Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu, Daniel McCullers, L.T. Walton
Analysis: Once you get past Heyward, Tuitt, Hargrave and Alualu, there’s a few uncertainties for what figures to be the final two defensive line spots as the Steelers normally like to keep only six.
Inside Linebackers (4) – Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams, Steven Johnson, Tyler Matakevich
Analysis: Behind Shazier and Williams sits Johnson and Matakevich and they both have special team value. Neither should be considered locks, however.
Outside Linebackers (5) – Bud Dupree, James Harrison, T.J. Watt, Anthony Chickillo, Arthur Moats
Analysis: If draft pick Keion Adams can show upside along with special teams ability, he could potentially make Moats and his salary expendable. Would the Steelers consider keeping six outside linebackers in total?
Cornerbacks (6) – Artie Burns, Ross Cockrell, Coty Sensabaugh, Cameron Sutton, William Gay, Brian Allen
Analysis: Senquez Golson has a lot to prove this summer as does draft pick Allen. Of the six cornerbacks listed, Gay and Allen are the biggest question marks right now.
Safeties (4) – Mike Mitchell, Sean Davis, Robert Golden, Jordan Dangerfield
Analysis: The Steelers not drafting a safety this year helps the cause of Golden and Dangerfield. Can an undrafted safety overtake either of the two? That will be tough to do when it comes to the special teams and experience factors.
Kicker (1) – Chris Boswell
Analysis: Barring an injury, Boswell is a lock.
Punter (1) – Jordan Berry
Analysis: Berry, like Boswell, is a lock as we sit here in May.
Long Snapper (1) – Colin Holba
Analysis: I know better than to bet against Greg Warren but I’m going to do it just the same. The Steelers spent a six-round pick on Holba and it makes you wonder if there’s something wrong medically with Warren.
|Steelers 2017 53-Man Roster Prediction|