Steelers 2017 Roster Lookahead: Locks, Open Spots & Hopefuls

The Pittsburgh Steelers will hold their annual Friday Night Lights practice at Latrobe High School later this evening and now that the team has been in training camp for a full week, let’s take a look at how many potential roster spots are likely open, how many are likely already locked up and who the players are with legitimate chances of making the team.

In the commemnts, let me know if any of my locks shouldnt be listed as such and if any additions need to be made. additionally, let me know if I left out any legitimate hopefuls.

Offense: Locked Up (21)

Quarterback: Locked Up (3) Open (0): This position group has been settled a while as barring injury, Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones and rookie Joshua Dobbs will be the Steelers three signal callers in 2017.

Running Back: Locked Up (2) Open (1-2): Le’Veon Bell and rookie James Conner are givens at this position group and that leaves one or two spots open. Newcomer Knile Davis and 2016 carryover Fitzgerald Toussaint are the two candidates for the one or two other spots at this point. Its hard seeing the Steelers keeping four running backs in total, but stranger things have happened.

Fullback: Locked Up (1) Open (0): Barring an injury, Roosevelt Nix will be the Steelers fullback in 2017

Wide Receiver: Locked Up (4) Open (1-3): Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers and JuJu Smith-Schuster are all givens and that leaves us anywhere from one to three more open roster spots. Justin Hunter is certainly making a strong run at being No. 5 and Darrius Heyward-Bey, Sammie Coates and Demarcus Ayers are all seemingly still in play to some degree.

Tight End: Locked Up (3) Open (0-1): With one week of training camp practice in the books, Jesse James, Xavier Grimble and David Johnson are all seemingly locked into roster spots with the former also serving as a backup fullback. While I doubt seriously a fourth tight end will be kept, we’ll leave the possibility of that happening open just the same.

Offensive Line: Locked Up (8) Open (0): This position group appears to be set in stone for some time now barring any injuries taking place. It’s also hard to imagine that nine offensive linemen will be kept on the 53-man roster as well.

Defense: Locked Up (21)

Defensive Line: Locked Up (5) Open (1): The Steelers rarely keep more than six total defensive linemen and if that holds true again in 2017, thers potentially one spot up for grabs still. Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu and L.T. Walton are your five locks with Johnny Maxey and Daniel McCullers likely being the two players still battling for a sixth and final spot.

Outside Linebacker: Locked Up (4) Open (1-2): James Harrison, Bud Dupree, Anthony Chickillo and rookie T.J. Watt are all givens barring injury. That leaves Arthur Moats and rookie draft pick Keion Adams as the candidates to get the final one or two spots at this position group.

Inside Linebacker: Locked Up (3) (Open (1-2): Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams and Tyler Mataketitch are all locks for obvious reasons. Will the Steelers keep four or five in total? Currency battling for spots are Steven Johnson and L.J. Fort, in my opinion.

Cornerback: Locked Up (5) Open (1-2): Six is likely to be the magic number when it comes to this position group and with Friday Night Lights set to take place, Artie Burns, Ross Cockrell, William Gay, Coty Sensabaugh and rookie Cameron Sutton all appear locked into roster spots. Mike Hilton is making a strong run for a roster spot so far during training camp and we still need to see if Senquez Golson can return from his latest injury. Rookie draft pick Brian Allen still needs to be in the conversation as well.

Safety: Locked Up (4) Open (0): With Daimion Stafford deciding to retire, the Steelers appear to have their four safety spots locked up right now. Barring injuries, those four should be Mike Mitchell, Sean Davis, Robert Golden and Jordan Dangerfield.

Specialist: Locked Up (3)

Kicker: Locked Up (1) Open (0): Chris Boswell, enough said

Punter: Locked Up (1) Open (0): Jordan Berry is it.

Long Snapper: Locked Up (1) Open (0): Colin Holba is your new man.

Summary: As you can see, I have 45 roster spots currently locked up and that leaves 8 available. Additionally, I have 15 players who seemingly still have a legitimate shot at filling those spots.

7 Roethlisberger, Ben QB 97 Heyward, Cameron DE
3 Jones, Landry QB 91 Tuitt, Stephon DE
5 Dobbs, Joshua QB 79 Hargrave, Javon DT
26 Bell, Le’Veon RB 94 Alualu, Tyson DE
30 Conner, James RB 96 Walton, L.T. DE
45 Nix, Roosevelt FB 92 Harrison, James OLB
81 James, Jesse TE 48 Dupree, Bud OLB
85 Grimble, Xavier TE 56 Chickillo, Anthony OLB
82 Johnson, David TE 90 Watt, T.J. OLB
84 Brown, Antonio WR 50 Shazier, Ryan ILB
10 Bryant, Martavis WR 98 Williams, Vince ILB
17 Rogers, Eli WR 44 Matakevich, Tyler ILB
19 Smith-Schuster, JuJu WR 25 Burns, Artie CB
53 Pouncey, Maurkice C 31 Cockrell, Ross CB
66 DeCastro, David G 22 Gay, William CB
73 Foster, Ramon G 24 Sensabaugh, Coty CB
77 Gilbert, Marcus T 20 Sutton, Cameron CB
78 Villanueva, Alejandro T 23 Mitchell, Mike S
67 Finney, B.J. C/G 28 Davis, Sean S
74 Hubbard, Chris T/G 21 Golden, Robert S
65 Hawkins, Jerald T 37 Dangerfield, Jordan S
88 Heyward-Bey, Darrius WR 93 McCullers, Daniel DT
11 Hunter, Justin WR 95 Maxey, Johnny DE
15 Ayers, Demarcus WR 55 Moats, Arthur LB
34 Davis, Knile RB 99 Adams, Keion LB
33 Toussaint, Fitzgerald RB 54 Fort, L.J. LB
14 Coates, Sammie WR
SPECIALISTS LOCKS   51 Johnson, Steven LB
9 Boswell, Chris K 40 Hilton, Mike CB
4 Berry, Jordan P 27 Golson, Senquez CB
49 Holba, Colin LS 29 Allen, Brian CB
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