Here my roster of 53
Let's start with the offense.
QB - Roethlisberger, Batch, Dixon (3) - Leftwich's spot could be held for him if he doesn't go on IR. If Ben gets hurt and cannot finish a game, I believe Batch finishes it for him. But if Ben has to miss an extended period of time a think Dixon gets the starts until Ben comes back. With the new 46 man rule (no more 3rd QB) maybe we could see Dixon come in as a situational/wildcat player of some sorts. If not, he may not dress to add an extra O-linemen or special teamer on gameday.
RB - Mendenhall, Redmen, Moore, Dwyer (7) - I'm high on Dwyer and would like to see him get on the field more but I don't see it happening with they way Redmen has played in the preseason yet again. If Baron Batch stayed healthy, I think Moore becomes expendable. Better luck next year Batch!
WR - Wallace, Ward, Brown, Sanders, Cotchery, Battle (13) - Defenses so far have identified Mike Wallace as the clear cut #1 WR and have doubled him on every play he’s been on the field thus far. But that will open up things for other guys like Ward and Miller in the middle and Brown and Sanders on the opposite sides (as we have seen already). We also haven’t seen a lot of bunch formations yet (a BA staple) to slow down the press and force defenders to play off coverage. I believe Cotchery was signed as a future slot receiver because as much as we all love him, Ward won't play forever (both are a similar playing style possession receiver). Battle makes the squad as a special teams ace and possibly earns the special teams captain vacancy left by the departure of Keyaran Fox.
TE - Miller, Johnson, Suanders (16) - Suanders is really the only other TE to play (other than Miller and DJ) that has had opportunities in the passing game so far this preseason. But that #3 TE position will most likely earn the roster spot based on their run blocking ability. I have heard good things about McCoy from camp practices but have yet to see him do anything in game settings so that’s why I went Suanders.
LT - J. Scott, Gilbert (18) - Gilbert played well against Abraham this past week but J. Scott remains the starter for now. Maybe Gilbert earns the job later this year if Scott fails to uphold the standard but I doubt it. I'll look for Gilbert to really make a push next year to start, but until then I think he earns the swing tackle position and dresses on gameday.
LG - Kemoeatu (19) - More than likely they will only keep 9 o-linemen and the LG spot usually doesn’t list a back up so I won't either.
C - Pouncey, Legursky (21) - Personally, I would like to see the Bronco start at RG but if he gets hurt then we have nobody to play center if Pouncey get hurt. Lets all hope both of these guys stay healthy. If Legursky doesn't earn the RG position, look for him to dress on gameday and back up all 3 interior spots.
RG - Foster, Essex (23) - In my opinion, Foster played well when he started at the end last year. As I stated above, I like Legursky here, but for all intensive purposes I'll start Foster over Essex (another guy with position flexibility) because Essex lost the starting job to Legursky and Foster midway through last season.
RT - Colon, Hills (25) - Although Hills played good at RG, he failed to seize the job and ultimately will back up both tackle spots but wont dress on gameday. But now he’s another guy with position flexibility that could get his number called if some other guys fail to uphold the standard.
Now on to Defense.
LDE - Smith, Hood (27) - Smith in his 13th year is still a beast at end. He has said himself that he's not a 60 snap per game guy anymore but we don't need him to be. Look for Hood and Smith to get and equal number of snaps in every game providing that smith stays healthy. He has missed more games than he has played in the past 2 years.
NT - Hampton, Hoke (29) - Both of these guys are good at what they do, eat blockers and stop the run!
RDE - Kesiel, Heyward (31) - I don't expect to see Heyward get a lot of playing time this year. He'll get some while Kesiel takes his breathers, but nowhere near as much as the playing time Hood will get on the opposite side. Heyward will play special teams much the same way we saw Kesiel do it playing behind Kemo Von Ohoffen.
LOLB - Woodley, Carter (33) - The new 61 million dollar man will have 10+ sacks again this year. Carter needs to put on at least 10-15 more pounds of man meat to play LB. But I hear good things about him from camp and he'll have to play special teams to earn this spot because Woodley doesn't come off the field very often.
MLB - Farrior, Timmons, Foote, Sylvester (37) - Old man 51 still has gas left in his tank. Down the stretch last year he was a beast. He gets all the calls from Lebeau and makes all the on field adjustments. Can anybody reading this name another LB in the league that can make Chris Johnson a non-factor other than Lawrence Timmons? I can't... Foote is a proven vet that adds depth at the position who also is a special teams ace.. I think as of now, if there were to be an injury to Harrison or Woodley, Timmons would move outside and Foote would come inside. I'm not a fan of this, but if Worilds or Carter aren't ready, it would be a safe move. Sly is being groomed to replace Farrior when he's ready to hang it up. The speed at MLB will be scary when both Timmons and Sly are on the field. But for now, Sly plays special teams.
ROLB - Harrison, Worilds (39) - Deebo isn't 100% yet, but him being at 80% is still better than 80% of the leagues OLBs. Worilds will play teams if Harrison stays on the field.
CB - Taylor, McFadden, Gay, Lewis, Butler, Brown, C. Allen (46) - Maybe the most intriguing position this year. I know its tough to keep 7 corners but I managed to (unfortunately for guys like Grisham and McLendon who may not have any practice squad eligibility left) McFadden and Gay have been scapegoats and are underrated and underappreciated, but with the emergence of Lewis and Butler this preseason Gay may be on the bubble, but I think they hold onto him for one more year. Brown's draft status makes him a lock for the roster. Cortez Allen is somewhat of a question mark, he's a very raw talent (only 2 years as a db at The Citadel) and Coach Lake is high on him. True, he has no NFL tape on him but I have heard that if put on the practice squad he will not last there (just like Thad Gibson last year). Me, personally would rather gamble with D. Warren on the practice squad because he has been there before with the Jets. This is a kid that we signed as a futures player before the lockout went into effect. I see other people putting Allen on the PUP list for the season, unfortunately as soon as you get on the practice field, even for only one play, you are ineligible for the PUP list (Manny Sanders for instance). Also IR (for his hammy) is not an option because then he will not be allowed to practice at all. I think, after Gay, which guys dress and which don't will be determined by the week of game prep. But they only dress 4 CBs on gameday.
SS - Polumalu, Mundy (48) - Regardless of whether Troy boy or Clark has to miss time, Mundy is the next guy in.
FS - Clark, W. Allen (50) - Will Allen is yet another vet special teams ace we have.
K - Suisham (51) - I'm not thrilled about him but he made some huge kicks last year after getting called in off his couch.
P - Sepulveda (52) - This kid has a special right leg. Now if only he could make it through a 16+ game season... Kapinos won't stay within ear shot either. He has also kicked very well and will be playing this year, just not sure on his colors yet.
LS - G. Warren (53) - He’s been the LS since before Cowher left, its not an impact position unless he messes up constantly, which to my knowledge he never has botched a snap.
J. McCoy (TE), Lyons (WR), Gray (DT), D. Warren (CB), Williams (G), Clay (RB) Cromartie-Smith (S), Ivy (LB) - I left off guys like McClendon and Grisham because I'm not sure what they're eligibility is. But really these 8 spots could change with the way they last preseason game is played.