Keep, Keep, Cut – Final Roster Spot

If you’re like me you’d love the chance to be a General Manager. We all have our opinions on players throughout the draft process and throughout the season of who we would prefer to have on the team or active roster. I thought this might be a fun process to look at a group of players give some background information on each player and see who you would keep.

I’ll give you three players either from a position group or some other roster scenario and you decide which two you will keep and one player to cut. At the end of this process we’ll have a good idea of who you think should be on the roster.

Final Roster Spot

We’ve spent that last few weeks building your roster.  We have worked through each position group and we have one spot left on the 53 man roster.  The focus on this final spot is in most cases on special teams. They won’t likely make an impact on offense or defense so they must be able to contribute on coverage teams.

So this week is like the final tribal council vote of Survivor. Instead of voting who to kick off the island, this week you are choosing one player you want to keep. So technically is Keep Cut Cut but I’m keeping the same title of continuity purposes.

The Locks

Here is the roster you have built so far.

Offense (25)

QB (3) – Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges

RB/FB (5) – James Conner, Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland, Derek Watt, Jaylen Samuels

WR (6) – JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Deon Cain, Saeed Blacknall

TE (3) – Vince McDonald, Eric Ebron, Zach Gentry

OL (8) – Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Kevin Dotson, Chukwuma Okorafor, Stefen Wisniewski, Zach Banner, Matt Feiler, Alejandro Villanueva

Defense (24)

DL (6) – Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu, Isaiah Buggs, Chris Wormley, Daniel McCullers

ILB (4) – Devin Bush, Vince Williams, Ulysees Gilbert, Robert Spillane

OLB (4) – T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Ola Adeniyi, Alex Highsmith

DB (6) – Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Mike Hilton, Cameron Sutton, Justin Layne, Alexander Myres

S (4) – Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds, Jordan Dangerfield, Antoine Brooks, Jr.

Specialists (3)

K – Chris Boswell

P – Jordan Berry

LS – Kameron Canaday


Over the course of this process we have either cut players to make them eligible for the practice squad or voted to keep certain players on the practice squad. That squad will consist of 12 players and will likely cover all position groups with at least one player.

So that gives us – QB Paxton Lynch, RB, Kerrith White, WR – Ryan Switzer, TE- Kevin Rader, OL J.C.Hassenauer, OL Derwin Gray, DL Henry Mondeaux, Josiah Coatney, ILB Leo Lewis, OLB Tuzar Skipper, James Lockhart, DB Trajan Bandy, S Marcus Allen

From these thirteen we are going to pick one to add to the active roster.  Also be aware that on game day two practice-squad players each week can be elevated to the team’s active roster, and a team doesn’t have to replace the player on the practice squad. One will most likely be an offensive lineman and the other possible for injury insurance on game day.

So who are our candidates for that last spot?

Tuzar Skipper – He would be the 5th OLB on the roster and has the experience of being around last year so he’s familiar with the process. For whatever reason, the team barely used him on special teams in the preseason and didn’t use him there after resigning him in November. Can he do it? I think we all believe he can if given the opportunity.

Trajan Bandy – The rookie UDFA from Miami would be DB number 7 and has the tenacity and physicality to contribute on special teams. He’s an aggressive tackler and willing to stick his face in the fan. It would be a good place to cut his teeth and make his mark.

Kerrith Whyte – Will the Steelers keep 6 RB’s on the roster? I don’t know. I made Whyte the choice here because of the current players listed above on the 53 man roster, none of them returned kicks for Pittsburgh last year (except for Snell’s 8 yard return at the end of Q2 in week 17). White did and led the team with very modest numbers. McFarland will likely get a shot back there and Whyte next to him gives them two solid options.

Time to Choose

This could be the toughest decision to make.  I think all three of these players have a chance to be on the roster and get some run on special teams.

The staff’s way too early rosters include Skipper and Bandy on Dave’s roster with Whyte on the PS. Matthew had Skipper on the roster with Bandy and Whyte hopefuls for the PS. Alex had Bandy on the squad with Skipper on the PS.

I am going with Skipper expecting him to be able to contribute on special teams and provider depth at an important defensive position.


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