With the team’s fourth and final preseason game of 2019 now in the books, it’s time for me to post my final 2019 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 previous versions are linked below:
Quarterbacks (3) – Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Joshua Dobbs
Analysis: Unless Dobbs is dealt, he should be the No. 3 behind Rudolph. Devlin Hodges was a great story this year but the only way he sticks is if Dobbs is sent packing. I just can’t predict a trade still.
Running Backs (3) – James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell Jr.
Analysis: Trey Edmunds is probably the better special teams player but I think Snell did enough in that phase to stick on the 53. Besides, the Steelers have a fourth-round draft invested in him and Edmunds should be able to clear waivers and get back to the practice squad.
Fullbacks (1) – Roosevelt Nix
Analysis: Nix is a core special teamer and the starting fullback. He’s a lock.
Wide Receivers (6) – JuJu Smith-Schuster, Donte Moncrief, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Ryan Switzer, Johnny Holton
Analysis: Eli Rogers and Switzer have seemed redundant for some time now. With the latter seemingly set to be the returner once again, that leaves Rogers, who has no other special teams ability, as the odd man out in lieu of Holton being kept. Holton can contribute heavily on special teams and also can play the Z and X wide receiver spot in a pinch. Maybe the Steelers can deal Rogers for a tight end or draft pick before cutting him.
Tight Ends (3) – Vance McDonald, Xavier Grimble, Zach Gentry
Analysis: This is a scary position for the Steelers. McDonald needs to stay healthy. Gentry might can be cut and clear waivers to the practice squad if the team can find an upgrade in the next week.
Offensive Linemen (8) – Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Alejandro Villanueva, B.J. Finney, Matt Feiler, Chukwuma Okorafor, Zach Banner
Analysis: The Steelers like to dress seven offensive online every week and usually like to keep nine in total. They really seem to like Johnson and Banner stuck on the 53 all last season as well. The only way i can make a spot for the Steelers preseason MVP is to cut Johnson and hope he clears waivers. He had a good preseason, just not a great one like a certain outside linebacker.
Defensive Linemen (6) – Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu, Daniel McCullers, Isaiah Buggs
Analysis: These six have been my six since the start and the Steelers have a long history of keeping at least six defensive linemen.
Inside Linebackers (5) – Vince Williams, Mark Barron, Devin Bush, Tyler Matakevich, Ulysees Gilbert III
Analysis: Gilbert played a ton on special teams during the preseason and he and Matakevich figure to be core special teamers.
Outside Linebackers (5) – Bud Dupree, T.J. Watt, Anthony Chickillo, Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, Tuzar Skipper
Analysis: Adeniyi is still currently recovering from a meniscus tear and it will be interesting to see if he can be ready by the start of the regular season. Chickillo is also currently banged up but should be ready for Week 1. I just don’t see the Steelers cutting Chickillo due to his special teams ability and experience. Skipper had a preseason to remember and while he did finally see more special teams action in the finale, him not being on the punt coverage team still makes it very hard for me to still find him a spot on the 53. Keeping 10 total linebackers and 8 offensive linemen is unprecedented under Mike Tomlin but it’s the only way to make a spot for Skipper. He went above and beyond in the finale and while he might not dress, he deserves to be on the 53.
Cornerbacks (6) – Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Mike Hilton, Artie Burns, Justin Layne, Cameron Sutton
Analysis: These six have felt like the right six for all of training camp. Layne was banged up in the preseason finale so he might be inactive for Week 1.
Safeties (4) – Sean Davis, Terrell Edmunds, Kameron Kelly, Jordan Dangerfield
Analysis: Davis is banged up but says he’ll be ready for the opener. Kelly has seemed like a lock for the last several weeks now and that leaves a battle between Dangerfield and Marcus Allen. I have Dangerfield, the more reliable special teams player, winning out with Allen going to the practice squad.
Kicker (1) – Chris Boswell
Analysis: Boswell did fine during the preseason while Matthew Wright predictably didn’t put up much of a battle.
Punter (1) – Jordan Berry
Analysis: While Ian Berryman put up a nice fight, I still can’t make myself pick him over Berry.
Long Snapper (1) – Kameron Canaday
Analysis: Canaday is the only legitimate long snapper and a lock.
Reserve List (3)
Reserve/PUP (1) – Ryan Shazier
Reserve/Injured (2) – Lavon Hooks, Brian Allen
Practice Squad (11)
Derwin Gray, Patrick Morris, Christian Scotland-Williamson, Henry Mondeaux, Marcus Allen, Fred Johnson, Sutton Smith, Trey Edmunds, Tevin Jones. Robert Spillane, Trevon Mathis
Week 1 Inactives (7)
Joshua Dobbs, Zach Banner, Tuzar Skipper, Diontae Johnson, Isaiah Buggs, Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, Justin Layne
SUMMARY: Like I said, 8 offensive linemen and 10 linebackers is something we’ve never seen Tomlin do. Thankfully the entire group of eight I am keeping is fully healthy.
|Steelers 2019 53-Man Roster Prediction|
|Snell Jr., Benny||RB|
|Gilbert III, Ulysees||ILB|