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Bryan: 2017 Steelers 53-Man Roster Prediction: Pre Training Camp Edition

The Pittsburgh Steelers will report to Latrobe on Thursday and that means it’s time for me to take my final stab at what the 2017 53-man roster might look like when the team opens their regular season on the road.

Moving forward from here, I will post a new 53-man prediction following each and every Steelers preseason game just as I do every year.

As usual, I invite all readers to add their own 53-man roster predictions in the comments below. At the very least, let me know which players on my list that you think won’t ultimately make the final 53 and why.

Offense (24)

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

Analysis: These three have been set in stone ever since Dobbs was drafted. Jones should open up the season as Roethlisberger’s backup.

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

Analysis: I’m certainly not high on Davis as a running back option and he certainly must impress as a kick returner during the preseason if he’s going to make the initial 53.

Fullbacks (1)Roosevelt Nix

Analysis: Nix is a solid fullback and special teams contributor. Here’s to him starting the 2017 regular season fully healthy, which is something he failed to do in 2016.

Wide Receivers (6)Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Sammie CoatesJustin Hunter

Analysis: Even though he’ll reportedly start training camp on the Active/PUP list, I think Coates still has a chance to beat out veteran wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey for a spot and especially if he can contribute on special teams like he did last season. Like Coates, Hunter is a real wild card this year but his addition early on during the offseason probably bodes well for him.

Tight Ends (3)Jesse James, David Johnson, Xavier Grimble

Analysis: James is a lock. Johnson is close to being one as well because he can also play fullback. Grimble, on the other hand, still seems like a better option than the two highly-touted undrafted free agent tight ends, Scott Orndoff and Phazahn Odom.

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

Analysis: These eight are hard to dispute and I find it unlikely that nine offensive linemen in total will be kept.

Defense (26)

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

Analysis: The Steelers normally like to keep only six defensive linemen in total and barring any injuries, it would seem that all but McCullers are guaranteed spots entering this year’s camp.

Inside Linebackers (5)Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams, Steven Johnson, Tyler Matakevich, L.J. Fort

Analysis: Behind Shazier and Williams sits Johnson, Matakevich and Fort entering camp. Fort is far from being a lock, however.

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

Analysis: Can Adams ultimately beat out veteran Arthur Moats during training camp and especially when it comes to special teams value? I think so. If the Steelers ultimately keep six outside linebackers in total, Moats would be my obvious sixth.

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 above, Gay and Allen are the biggest question marks right now.

Safeties (4)Mike Mitchell, Sean Davis, Robert Golden, Daimion Stafford

Analysis: Mitchell and Davis are of course locks. The other two spots, however, are not. The offseason addition of Stafford  via free agency can’t be ignored and he could very well wind up beating out either Golden or Jordan Dangerfield after the dust settles. Will the Steelers choose to keep five safeties in total? I chose Stafford over Dangerfield.

Specialists (3)

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 enter training camp.

Long Snapper (1)Colin Holba

Analysis: Holba, the team’s sixth-round draft pick this year, is a lock at this point barring injury.

Final Notes: I believe this is the first time I’ve ever predicted that all draft picks will make a final 53. With that said, I think there’s a good chance we see that happen this year if all stay healthy. At worst, six of the eight should make it with Allen and Adams being the two questionable ones with the hardest paths.

Practice Squad (10)Demarcus Ayers, Brian Mihalik, Ethan Cooper, Scott Orndoff, Terrell Watson, Johnny Maxey, Mike Hilton, Jacob Hagen, Lavon Hooks, Matt Galambos

Analysis: This list of 10 players will obviously be fluid from here on out but with that said, I think there’s a good chance at least four of these players ultimately wind up on the Steelers 10-man practice squad this year.

Steelers 2017 53-Man Roster & 10-Man Practice Squad 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
Rogers, Eli WR
Smith-Schuster, JuJu WR
Coates, Sammie WR
Hunter, Justin WR
James, Jesse TE
Johnson, David TE
Grimble, Xavier 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
Fort, L.J. 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
Stafford, Daimion S
SPECIALISTS
Boswell, Chris K
Berry, Jordan P
Holba, Colin LS
PRACTICE SQUAD
Ayers, Demarcus WR
Mihalik, Brian T
Cooper, Ethan G
Orndoff, Scott TE
Watson, Terrell RB
Maxey, Johnny DE
Hilton, Mike CB
Hagen, Jacob S
Hooks, Lavon DT
Galambos, Matt ILB
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