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

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

Moving forward from here, I will post one final 53-man prediction following the team’s final 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: Jones made his 2017 preseason debut Saturday night and looked fine outside of his late interception. Dobbs, as long expected, will be the team’s No. 3 quarterback this year.

Running Backs (4)Le’Veon Bell, Knile Davis, James Conner, Terrell Watson

Analysis: Conner and Watson have both looked like very capable running backs in the two preseason games that each has played in and we’re likely to see a lot of them in the preseason finale. Fitzgerald Toussaint seems to be an extreme long-shot at this point and his recent leg injury isn’t likely to help his cause. While Davis hasn’t looked great as a kick returner, I still can’t force myself to cut him just yet. Four running backs in total might be a stretch and I’m certainly not married to that ultimately happening.

Fullbacks (1)Roosevelt Nix

Analysis: Nix is more than ready for the 2017 season and I would sit him in the preseason finale just to be safe.

Wide Receivers (6)Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Sammie Coates, Darrius Heyward-Bey

Analysis: It’s really hard to make a case for Justin Hunter at this point. He only played two offensive snaps Saturday night and once again wasn’t used on special teams. That can’t be a great sign for him. Heyward-Bey, if kept, will be used primarily on special teams.

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

Analysis: My quick fascination with Jake McGee is now over. He played very little Saturday night while Grimble finally showed us he can block and catch passes. McGee, however, does remain a strong practice squad candidate.

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

Analysis: Hawkins once again had a strong preseason showing. I really would like to keep Matt Feiler, but just can’t seem to make room for him.

Defense (25)

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

Analysis: Will the Steelers keep six defensive linemen in total and if they do, who is No. 6? I still cant see Daniel McCullers being that guy. Maxey hasn’t done much of anything during the preseason but for now, I will keep him. Lavon Hooks could possibly be in play over Maxey and we’ll see how the two play in the preseason finale.

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

Analysis: Is Steven Johnson battling Arthur Moats for one of nine linebacker spots? It’s hard to say right now and Johnson, a solid special teams player, missed the game Saturday night with a hamstring injury. Moats on the other hand, remains healthy and played quite a bit on special teams against the Colts. It will be interesting to see if Johnson is healthy enough to play in the preseason finale. I just can’t see 10 total linebackers being kept this year.

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

Analysis: See the analysis above. Even though Moats is likely fifth on the outside linebacker depth chart, it’s still very hard to cut him.

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

Analysis: Nothing new here but it was great to see Sutton make his 2017 debut Saturday night. As much as I would like to keep rookie draft pick cornerback Brian Allen, I just cant see the Steelers keeping 11 defensive backs in total as that’s something they haven’t done in forever.

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

Analysis: Golden sure hasn’t played well during the preseason but his value on special teams makes him a touch player to cut. Is Jacob Hagen in play to take his spot?

Specialists (3)

Kicker (1)Chris Boswell

Analysis: Hate seeing that missed extra point Saturday night but at least it came in a meaningless preseason game. He’s been money otherwise.

Punter (1)Jordan Berry

Analysis: Berry, Berry, happy with Berry.

Long Snapper (1)Colin Holba

Analysis: A bad extra point snap Saturday won’t hurt Holba’s cause.

Final Notes: A few more changes this week as out goes McGee and Hunter and it comes Watson and Heyward-Bey. That ninth linebacker spot needs watching heading into the final preseason game as does the sixth defensive line spot.

Reserve Injured (2)Keion Adams, Senquez Golson ???

Analysis: Pretty sure that Adams will go to Reserve/ Injured with his shoulder injury. What’s going to happen with Golson ultimately? IR, or waived/injured? Just how bad is that hamstring injury of his?

Practice Squad (10)Demarcus Ayers, Brian Mihalik, Keavon Milton, Jake McGee, Francis Kallon, Brian Allen, Jacob Hagen, Lavon Hooks, Matt GalambosFarrington Huguenin

Analysis: Added McGee, Galambos and Huguenin and this time.

Week 1 Inactives (7) – Hawkins, Dobbs, Maxey, Moats, Watson, Sutton, Smith-Schuster

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
Watson, Terrell RB
Nix, Roosevelt FB
Brown, Antonio WR
Bryant, Martavis WR
Rogers, Eli WR
Smith-Schuster, JuJu WR
Coates, Sammie WR
Heyward-Bey, Darrius 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
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
SPECIALISTS
Boswell, Chris K
Berry, Jordan P
Holba, Colin LS
PRACTICE SQUAD
Ayers, Demarcus WR
Mihalik, Brian T
Milton, Keavon G/T
Gallambos, Matt ILB
McGee, Jake TE
Kallon, Francis DE
Allen, Brian CB
Hagen, Jacob S
Hooks, Lavon DT/DE
Huguenin, Farrington OLB
INJURED RESERVE
Adams, Keion OLB
Golson, Senquez CB
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