Bryan: 2017 Steelers 53-Man Roster Prediction: Post Second Preseason Game Edition

The Pittsburgh Steelers played their second preseason game of 2017 on Sunday at Heinz Field and it gave us yet another long look at several young players. With the preseason now half over, it’s time for me to update my 53-man roster prediction.

Moving forward from here, I will post a new 53-man prediction following the final two preseason games 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 (25)

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

Analysis: One would think and hope that we’ll see both Roethlisberger and Jones play Saturday night against the Indianapolis Colts with Dobbs mopping it up. We’ll see.

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

Analysis: Conner made his NFL debut Sunday evening and we’ll expect him to see even more playing time over the course of the next two weeks. Neither Davis, nor Fitzgerald Toussaint have done much to write home about so far. With that said, I still have Davis edging out Toussaint by a hair. Davis did have a nice special teams tackle Sunday.

Fullbacks (1)Roosevelt Nix

Analysis: Nix blocked a punt on Sunday and looked great as a lead blocker during the few plays he was in on offense. Put this man in bubble wrap right now as he’s ready for the regular season.

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

Analysis: Coates and Hunter both made their 2017 debuts on Sunday. What does Darrius Heyward-Bey really offer this team right now outside of kickoff coverage ability? I want to keep him, but just can’t bang the table for him. Hunter, if he makes it, would likely be a Week 1 inactive.

Tight Ends (4)Jesse James, David Johnson, Xavier Grimble, Jake McGee

Analysis: Yes, it’s crazy to carry four tight ends but what has Grimble really done so far this preseason? He’s not a great blocker and not a special team asset. McGee is, however. I opened up a spot for McGee by dumping a fifth inside linebacker. Consider McGee a special teamer addition more than a tight end add. I think Danny Smith might pound the table for him. We’ll see.

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

Analysis: Hawkins had a much better showing Sunday and especially as a run blocker. If the Steelers wind up keeping nine in total, one has to think Matt Feiler would be the ninth. It’s too bad he’s out of practice squad eligibility.

Defense (25)

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

Analysis: While Daniel McCullers should be recognized for a few strong pass rush snaps during Sunday’s game, I still have him on the outside looking in. Maxey, if he indeed makes the roster, would likely be a weekly inactive. In short, no changes for me with this group.

Inside Linebackers (4)Ryan Shazier, Vince WilliamsTyler Matakevich, L.J. Fort

Analysis: We will have to watch what happens with Steven Johnson moving forward as he suffered a hamstring injury on Sunday. Fort has really played well and it’s hard seeing him not make the roster at this point. Would the Steelers dare only keep four inside linebackers and five outside linebackers in total? Matt Galambos or Keith Kelsey might be more in play now if the team is looking to keep five at this position group and if Johnson is out a while. I will go with four this week in order to accommodate McGee above.

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

Analysis: Keion Adams has still yet to play in a preseason game and hasn’t practiced in forever. Could he ultimately wind up on Reserve/Injured? It’s possible. These five above appear to be stone cold lead pipe locks right now.

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

Analysis: Nothing new here. What will ultimately happen with rookie draft pick Brian Allen? I think practice squad, ultimately.

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

Analysis: Can Jacob Hagen make this roster as a fifth? I still don’t think so and thus have him on the practice squad again.

Specialists (3)

Kicker (1)Chris Boswell

Analysis: Boswell has been money so far just as you would expect him to be.

Punter (1)Jordan Berry

Analysis: Berry had a great game on Sunday.

Long Snapper (1)Colin Holba

Analysis: Holba, the team’s sixth-round draft pick this year, is still doing his job.

Final Notes: I made just one change in this latest prediction as I removed Johnson and replaced him with McGee. That’s a BOLD move and let’s see if it pays off for me.

Practice Squad (10)Demarcus Ayers, Brian Mihalik, Keavon Milton, Terrell Watson, Francis Kallon, Brian Allen, Jacob Hagen, Lavon Hooks, Keion Adams, Keith Kelsey

Analysis: Added Milton and Kelsey

Week 1 Inactives (7) – Hawkins, Dobbs, Maxey, Moats, Hunter, Sutton, Grimble

Steelers 2017 53-Man Roster & 10-Man Practice Squad Prediction
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
McGee, Jake 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
Heyward, Cameron DE
Tuitt, Stephon DE
Alualu, Tyson DE
Hargrave, Javon DT
Walton, L.T. DT/DE
Maxey, Johnny DE
Harrison, James OLB
Dupree, Bud OLB
Watt, T.J. OLB
Chickillo, Anthony OLB
Moats, Arthur OLB
Shazier, Ryan ILB
Williams, Vince ILB
Matakevich, Tyler ILB
Fort, L.J. ILB
Burns, Artie CB
Cockrell, Ross CB
Sutton, Cameron CB
Sensabaugh, Coty CB
Gay, William CB
Hilton, Mike CB/DB
Mitchell, Mike S
Davis, Sean S
Golden, Robert S
Dangerfield, Jordan S
Boswell, Chris K
Berry, Jordan P
Holba, Colin LS
Ayers, Demarcus WR
Mihalik, Brian T
Milton, Keavon G/T
Kelsey, Keith ILB
Watson, Terrell RB
Kallon, Francis DE
Allen, Brian CB
Hagen, Jacob S
Hooks, Lavon DT
Adams, Keion OLB
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