Marczi: 2019 53-Man Roster Prediction – Final

Offense (24)

Quarterbacks (3) – Ben RoethlisbergerMason Rudolph, Joshua Dobbs

Analysis: Sorry, folks, but there will be no Duck dynasty in Pittsburgh. Devlin Hodges didn’t have a very good chance last night with the quality of offensive line play, but he did nothing in an entire half of football to justify a roster spot. It’s that simple.

Running Backs (3) – James ConnerJaylen SamuelsBenny Snell, Jr.

Analysis: Snell has been disappointing—even missed some blocks last night—but he’s still not going anywhere. If he does get much work offensively this year, it’ll be in short-yardage. Expect to see him on special teams instead until he drops 10 pounds in the Spring.

Fullbacks (1) – Roosevelt Nix

Analysis: Wake me up when this is ever worth delving into. Nix is the fullback.

Wide Receivers (6) – JuJu Smith-SchusterDonte MoncriefJames WashingtonDiontae Johnson, Ryan Switzer, Johnny Holton

Analysis: I’m going to be honest. I don’t like the idea of keeping Switzer over Rogers. But usage suggests Switzer is being favored, and the team needs a return man. Holton is return-capable, but he didn’t do a very good job of it in the preseason, frankly. What he can do is tear down the field, both on offense and on special teams, and that’s what he’ll do on Sundays until Johnson dresses (assuming he begins his career as an inactive).

Tight Ends (3) – Vance McDonaldXavier GrimbleZach Gentry

Analysis: This group is settled in at this point barring the acquisition of a player outside the 90-man roster. There really isn’t any other option for the number three other than Gentry, and personally speaking, he’s looking alright.

Offensive Linemen (8) – Maurkice PounceyDavid DeCastroRamon FosterAlejandro VillanuevaMatt Feiler, B.J. FinneyChukwuma OkoraforZach Banner

Analysis: I’m still going to keep only eight, bumping Fred Johnson down to the practice squad. I just don’t think he’s been an exceptional player, while certainly playing perfectly fine. It bucks a long-held team trend to carry eight outside of injuries, but there are other spots screaming for an extra spot.

Defense (26)

Defensive Linemen (6) – Cameron HeywardStephon TuittJavon HargraveTyson AlualuDaniel McCullersIsaiah Buggs

Analysis: This is locked in, 100 percent solid. Isaiah Buggs and Daniel McCullers both continued to play well in the finale last night, so this is settled.

Inside Linebackers (5) – Vince WilliamsDevin Bush, Mark Barron, Tyler Matakevich, Ulysees Gilbert III

Analysis: With Gilbert chipping in with a blocked kick, he pretty much locked himself into a roster spot last night. He has already played above the line defensively all preseason, so it’s hard to make any changes here. Matakevich still isn’t going anywhere, sorry.

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

Analysis: Let’s make this clear. Skipper’s two special teams tackles were bigger than the two sacks he had last night, two of five he had on the preseason, among two forced fumbles. It’s going to be really hard to justify not keeping him on the roster if they do decide to let him go. His performance has been above the typical preseason phenom. Plus, three guys in front of him are nicked.

Cornerbacks (6) – Joe HadenSteven NelsonMike HiltonArtie BurnsJustin LayneCameron Sutton

Analysis: Another group that’s easy to predict here. They’re carrying six, unless for some reason Justin Layne has to go on injured reserve. There’s no debate here, I don’t think, and if there is, it would be pretty shocking.

Safeties (4) – Sean DavisTerrell EdmundsMarcus AllenKameron Kelly

Analysis: I’ve been including Allen over Jordan Dangerfield the whole time, and I’m not changing. Allen started last night’s game along with Kelly, it’s worth noting, though how significant that is is dubious. Dangerfield’s a guy they don’t need to see more of.

Specialists (3)

Kicker (1) – Chris Boswell

Analysis: Matthew Wright sealed his fate by missing two kicks last night, as though there were any doubt.

Punter (1) – Jordan Berry

Analysis: Both punters did better this week than the prior two games, but Berry still has the edge. Ian Berryman had the better game between the two last night, and truth be told, I wouldn’t be shocked if he won the job (or if the team were able to trade Berry), but I still think it’s more likely than not that they stick with the group they have.

Long Snapper (1) – Kameron Canaday

Analysis: Canaday is essentially uncontested, so this isn’t really a discussion.

Practice Squad (11)

Trey EdmundsTevin JonesDerwin Gray, Fred JohnsonChristian Scotland-WilliamsonHenry MondeauxJordan DangerfieldP.J. LockeRobert Spillane, Sutton Smith, Devlin Hodges

I’m surprisingly not changing this group from last week. The only change I’ve made since the last time was making the swap for Holton, bouncing Rogers off the roster. Chances are the Steelers will add a couple of players to the practice squad from other teams’ cuts, but from what they currently have, this feels like a solid group. Gray could lose out to Patrick Morris.

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