With the team’s first preseason game of 2019 now in the books, it’s time once again for me to post another 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 next stab at the Steelers 53-man roster will be posted after the team’s second preseason game.
My previous versions are linked below:
Quarterbacks (3) – Ben Roethlisberger, Joshua Dobbs, Mason Rudolph
Analysis: Obviously no changes with this group of three. It was good to see all three quarterbacks play well Friday night in the preseason opener and that includes fourth-stringer Devlin Hodges. While Hodges is intriguing, it’s way, way too early to suggest that he will beat odd Dobbs or Rudolph for a roster spot. He likely needs an injury to happen to make the 53.
Running Backs (3) – James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell Jr.
Analysis: One again, no changes in this group of three. It was good to see Snell get some special teams work in the preseason opener as he’ll likely need to play in that phase throughout his rookie season. Who is going to the practice squad now that Ralph Webb is on IR? Maybe it will be Trey Edmunds again.
Fullbacks (1) – Roosevelt Nix
Analysis: Nix only played a few snaps in the preseason opener and that’s fine with me. He will get his offensive and special teams tuneup in two more weeks against the Tennessee Titans in the third preseason game.
Wide Receivers (6) – JuJu Smith-Schuster, Donte Moncrief, James Washington, Ryan Switzer, Diontae Johnson, Eli Rogers
Analysis: It was disappointing to see Johnson miss the first preseason game with a groin injury. Hopefully he will be healthy enough to play this next weekend. As for the other wide receivers, I still have no reason to change any of them out. To me, Rogers is a bit safer that Switzer. Even so, Diontae Spencer certainly didn’t show to be a threat to either Friday night. Johnny Holton might still be in play for the No. 6 spot but he’ll need to beat out either Rogers or Switzer. Still three games left s a lot can happen.
Tight Ends (3) – Vance McDonald, Xavier Grimble, Zach Gentry
Analysis: Once again, no changes here. Gentry did play better Friday night than I thought he would so there’s that. Hopefully it continues. At this point it seems like either Gentry or Christian Scotland-Williamson are battling for the third and final tight end spot. The team might also decide to look around the league at the final cuts for a number three as well.
Offensive Linemen (9) – Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Alejandro Villanueva, B.J. Finney, Matt Feiler, Chukwuma Okorafor, Fred Johnson, Zach Banner
Analysis: Johnson and Banner both played a ton Friday night and seemingly represented themselves well. No changes are being made with this group of nine by me until further notice. Feiler played some left guard Friday night so it’s great to see that position flexibility. Who will land on the practice squad?
Defensive Linemen (6) – Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu, Daniel McCullers, Isaiah Buggs
Analysis: Once again, another group that doesn’t need any changes made to it. Buggs played well in his preseason debut Friday night and McCullers seems like he’s not going to have anyone challenge him for his roster spot. Barring injuries, these should be the six, the same six I have had for a while.
Inside Linebackers (5) – Vince Williams, Mark Barron, Devin Bush, Tyler Matakevich, Ulysees Gilbert III
Analysis: One minor change in this group and its only because Gilbert played Friday night and played well while the other sixth-round linebacker, Sutton Smith, sat the game out injured. Gilbert must starting making a bigger impact on special teams moving forward. In my opinion, Gilbert is battling Smith for one special teams spot during the preseason.
Outside Linebackers (4) – Bud Dupree, T.J. Watt, Anthony Chickillo, Olasunkanmi Adeniyi
Analysis: With Gilbert back in the 53, Smith comes off of it again. Let’s see if I have a reason to change these two players out again this coming week. Smith must get healthy soon. If he misses the next preseason game, it will be hard for him to make the 53-man roster.
Cornerbacks (6) – Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Mike Hilton, Artie Burns, Justin Layne, Cameron Sutton
Analysis: This is yet another group I have no reason to change. There are a lot of new faces on the roster behind these six cornerbacks and none figure to push for a roster spot. Maybe Brian Allen goes to the practice squad again.
Safeties (4) – Sean Davis, Terrell Edmunds, Kameron Kelly, Jordan Dangerfield
Analysis: Is Marcus Allen at risk of not making the 53-man roster this year? I think so. If Kelly makes it, Allen might have to beat out Dangerfield for a spot. Dangerfield is a proven special teams player and has played well on defense in his limit chances to date to boot. Last time I left Kelly off. This time I have him on and Allen off. This group is far from settled.
Kicker (1) – Chris Boswell
Analysis: So far, so good for the Boz. Three more preseason games to go.
Punter (1) – Jordan Berry
Analysis: I like the leg of Ian Berryman but he can’t seem to control it. A 65 yard punt is no good if it goes in the end zone for a touchback.
Long Snapper (1) – Kameron Canaday
Analysis: Canaday appears to have worked through the minor groin injury that he was dealing with.
Practice Squad (11)
Trey Edmunds, Derwin Gray, Johnny Holton, JC Hassenauer, Christian Scotland-Williamson, Henry Mondeaux, Brian Allen, Marcus Allen, Sutton Smith, Tuzar Skipper
|Steelers 2019 53-Man Roster Prediction|
|Snell Jr., Benny||RB|
|Gilbert III, Ulysees||ILB|