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Kozora 2017 Steelers 53 Man Roster Prediction – Post Draft Edition

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.

Offense (25)

Quarterbacks (3) Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Joshua Dobbs

Analysis: Zero debate here. Not with the names nor the depth chart.

Running Backs (3)Le’Veon BellJames Conner, Knile Davis

Analysis: I am confident Conner can become the #2 behind Bell. Third spot could be more open, especially if someone else shows up on kick returns. But those odds aren’t great at the moment so Davis gets the nod.

Fullbacks (1)Roosevelt Nix

Analysis: The boring predictions continue. Nix is a lock.

Wide Receivers (7)Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Sammie CoatesEli Rogers, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Demarcus Ayers

Analysis: Ok guys, here’s my one bit of craziness of the roster prediction. Wide receiver is the deepest position on the roster so it makes sense to keep more of them than any other position. Keeping seven is actually less crazy than my other thought; taking Rogers off the roster completely, replaced by Ayers.

Here’s why Ayers could latch on. He’s a hard worker and seemingly accountable, something Eli Rogers struggled with during his rookie season. And Tomlin has talked him up on I think two occasions as a guy he is excited to work in Year Two. Ayers is a better punt returner than Rogers, too, and that’s how he could get his hat (and Rogers inactive on gameday).

Seven receivers is awfully heavy but not completely uncommon in the NFL. The Browns and Bills kept seven in recent years and Bengals.com thinks they will keep seven for 2017. There’s a precedent.

Tight Ends (3)Ladarius Green, Jesse James, David Johnson

Analysis: Xavier Grimble has flashed but Johnson is the tried and true blocker. That’s what the team values the most from their #3 tight end, especially assuming Green enters camp healthy. Considering his workouts in the spring, the odd look good.

Offensive Linemen (8)Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert, Alejandro Villanueva, B.J. Finney, Chris Hubbard, Jerald Hawkins

Analysis: Maybe Brian Mihalik sneaks onto the roster but there isn’t a ton of wiggle room here. The rest of the group are locks are close to it. Only Hubbard could fall off but his versatility is tough to match.

Defense (25)

Defensive Linemen (6)Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu, Daniel McCullers, L.T. Walton

Analysis: I’d love to see someone push McCullers but can’t find a name to do so. Maybe something happens at final cutdowns or someone surprises in camp. Johnny Maxey could give Walton a nudge but I think his spot is ultimately safe.

Inside Linebackers (4)Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams, Steven Johnson, Tyler Matakevich

Analysis: I keep forgetting about L.J. Fort and maybe he or a UDFA – Keith Kelsey could be that favorite – plays his way onto the roster. Matakevich’s spot is safe; Johnson’s is debatable. Team could still wind up keeping five.

Outside Linebackers (5)Bud Dupree, James Harrison, T.J. Watt, Anthony Chickillo, Keion Adams

Analysis: Arthur Moats and Adams battle it out for the final spot. Adams is the better athlete and is going to offer more on special teams. Cheaper and more long-term value. But it’s still a coin flip.

Cornerbacks (6) –  Artie Burns, Ross Cockrell, Coty Sensabaugh, Cameron Sutton, William Gay, Brian Allen

Analysis: Senquez Golson has to prove he is worthy of a roster spot. Scholarship days are long over. Allen will perform well on special teams.

Safeties (4)Mike Mitchell, Sean Davis, Robert Golden, Jordan Dangerfield

Analysis: Another position the team could look to add at final cutdowns. These four names are all safe.

Specialists (3)

Kicker (1)Chris Boswell

Analysis: Boswell can sleep well at night. Spot is safe.

Punter (1)Jordan Berry

Analysis: See: Boswell, Chris

Long Snapper (1) – Greg Warren

Analysis: I’ve bet against Warren before. And been wrong every time.

Practice Squad (10)

RB – Rushel Shell
TE – Phazahn Odom, Xavier Grimble
OL – Ethan Cooper, Brian Mihalik
DE – Johnny Maxey
OLB – Farrington Huguenin
ILB – Akil Blount
CB – Brandon Dixon
S – Jacob Hagen

Analysis: Not crazy about Shell but the Steelers like keeping a big back on the practice squad. He and Cooper are the two UDFAs to make it in a down class. Maxey provides even better DL depth while I think Huguenin and Blount could have solid training camps.

Steelers 2017 53-Man Roster Prediction
OFFENSE
Roethlisberger, Ben QB
Jones, Landry QB
Dobbs, Joshua QB
Bell, Le’Veon RB
Davis, Knile RB
Conner, James RB
Nix, Roosevelt FB
Brown, Antonio WR
Bryant, Martavis WR
Coates, Sammie WR
Rogers, Eli WR
Smith-Schuster, JuJu WR
Heyward-Bey, Darrius WR
Ayers, Demarcus WR
Green, Ladarius TE
James, Jesse TE
Johnson, David TE
Pouncey, Maurkice C
Foster, Ramon G
DeCastro, David G
Finney, B.J. C/G
Hubbard, Chris T/G
Gilbert, Marcus T
Villanueva, Alejandro T
Hawkins, Jerald T
DEFENSE
Heyward, Cameron DE
Tuitt, Stephon DE
Alualu, Tyson DE
Hargrave, Javon DT
McCullers, Daniel DT
Walton, L.T. DE
Harrison, James OLB
Dupree, Bud OLB
Watt, T.J. OLB
Chickillo, Anthony OLB
Adams, Keion OLB
Shazier, Ryan ILB
Williams, Vince ILB
Johnson, Steven ILB
Matakevich, Tyler ILB
Burns, Artie CB
Cockrell, Ross CB
Sutton, Cameron CB
Sensabaugh, Coty CB
Gay, William CB
Allen, Brian CB
Mitchell, Mike S
Davis, Sean S
Golden, Robert S
Dangerfield, Jordan S
SPECIALISTS
Boswell, Chris K
Berry, Jordan P
Warren, Greg LS
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