Kozora: Steelers Roster Prediction (Final Version)

My final Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster prediction. Posting it right before all the names start pouring out. Let me know what you think in the comments below though I think you can put your pitchforks down for this one.

If you missed it, here’s my previous Steelers ‘roster outlook. Couple of changes for the last one.

Offense (24)

Quarterbacks (3) – Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Josh Dobbs

Analysis: Devlin Hodges didn’t do enough to bump Dobbs off the roster but I don’t want to forget how good he looked until Thursday night, in large part due to a crummy offensive line and receivers/backs who couldn’t hang onto the football. Rudolph will be your #2.

Running Backs (3) – James ConnerJaylen Samuels, Benny Snell

Analysis: Shuttling Trey Edmunds back to the practice squad. Numbers crunch with the LBs impressing as much as they did. Snell embraced special teams enough to make a positive impact there and Edmunds could get called back up when there’s an injury to any part of the roster.

Fullbacks (1) – Roosevelt Nix

Analysis: Never a doubt.

Wide Receivers (6) – JuJu Smith-SchusterDonte Moncrief, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Johnny Holton, Ryan Switzer

Analysis: I wish me putting Holton on here made my roster feel different but I’m in lockstep with Dave Bryan and Matthew Marczi. Holton offers a different element to the offense, some great special teams value, and this offense thrives when there’s a vertical threat. Not that Holton would play a lot early, though he’ll dress, but if there’s an injury, he can step in to be the new Sammie Coates.

Tight Ends (3) – Vance McDonald, Xavier Grimble, Zach Gentry

Analysis: Certainly possible the team adds a tight end. If they stay in-house, it’ll definitely be Gentry getting the nod.

Offensive Linemen (8) – Maurkice PounceyDavid DeCastroRamon FosterAlejandro VillanuevaMatt FeilerBJ Finney, Chukwuma Okorafor, Zach Banner

Analysis: Final roster spot came down to Fred Johnson versus Tuzar Skipper. Skipper gets onboard. Simply the better player and there are some injuries, though they seem minor, at outside linebacker.

 Defense (26)

Defensive Linemen (6) – Cameron HeywardStephon TuittJavon HargraveTyson AlualuIsaiah BuggsDaniel McCullers

Analysis: Group’s locked in. As secure as any position on this roster.

Inside Linebackers (5) – Vince WilliamsMark Barron, Devin Bush, Tyler Matakevich, Ulysees Gilbert III

Analysis: Gilbert III seemed to cement himself with the field goal block he recorded against the Carolina Panthers, Athletic with starter traits down the line who can help you out on special teams right now.

Outside Linebackers (5) – Bud DupreeT.J. WattAnthony ChickilloOla Adeniyi, Tuzar Skipper

Analysis: Welcome to the show, Tuzar. He accepted every challenge and answered every question this summer. If that isn’t good enough to crack the lineup, nothing is. He likely will still begin the year inactive, however. But props to him. What a month it’s been for him.

Cornerbacks (6) –  Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Mike HiltonCameron Sutton, Artie Burns, Justin Layne

Analysis: We’ll see what happens to Layne and his injury but for now, I assume he’s healthy enough to avoid IR-to return. He’ll still open the year inactive, injured or not.

Safeties (4) – Sean Davis, Terrell Edmunds, Kameron Kelly, Jordan Dangerfield

Analysis: Swapping Marcus Allen and bringing back Dangerfield. Since I didn’t keep Trey Edmunds, Danger’s special teams value is important especially with him functioning as the PP on the punt coverage unit. But this could be a fluid spot and there’s still an outside chance they add someone not currently on the roster.

Specialists (3)

Kicker (1) – Chris Boswell

Analysis: Boswell didn’t kick in the finale which tells you his spot is secure. He’ll get his roster bonus.

Punter (1) – Jordan Berry

Analysis: Ian Berryman made a late push but I don’t think it’s going to be enough.

Long Snapper (1) – Kameron Canaday

Analysis: Canaday had a good camp and is locked in.

Game Day Inactives (7)

QB Josh Dobbs
WR Diontae Johnson
OT Zach Banner
DL Isaiah Buggs
OLB Tuzar Skipper
OLB Ola Adeniyi (injury)
CB Justin Layne

Practice Squad (11)

QB – Devlin Hodges
RB – Trey Edmunds
WR – Tevin Jones
TE – Christian Scotland-Williamson
OL – Derwin Gray, Fred Johnson
DL – Henry Mondeaux
OLB – Sutton Smith
ILB – Robert Spillane
CB – Dravon Askew-Henry
S – Marcus Allen

Hodges is still worth keeping around. You don’t cut talented quarterbacks. Edmunds is as safe a bet as any for the practice squad. They like Jones, CSW is exempt, with Gray and Johnson rounding out the offensive line. Mondeaux has been on my list for awhile and Smith flashed enough in the finale to hold onto. For now, at least. Spillane should make it assuming he’s healthy, got dinged in the finale, while Askew-Henry has slot/safety value and Allen did enough late in the process to keep around.

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