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A Year in Advance: Where Will the Steelers Be This Time Next Year?

UPDATE 7/18: The Steelers have signed Max Starks to a 1 year deal. so I revised the roster and added Starks in favor of Jonathan Scott.

Doc, fire up the Delorean, we're gonna take a quick look ahead at this time next year. Quick hint, Biff Tannen is not on the roster. - nc

I've always been interested in the front office side of football, and with a dry spell in football news, I did a thought experiment on what type of moves could be coming from Kevin Colbert in the next year. Over the next week or so I'll be posting a multiple part series trying to make predictions of how the Steelers will look in a year from now, with a complete 2012 Season predictions post thrown in.

After an embarrassing loss in Denver to close the season, the Steelers quickly turned their attention to the next season. True to form, they made no splashes in free agency with TE Leonard Pope being the only major addition before the draft. They did, however, make a splash in the draft. This incoming class has as high a ceiling as any other in the league with quality picks from top to bottom. The only other addition I can see happening before the start of the season is Max Starks, but even that seems unlikely with the front office doing everything it can to resign Mike Wallace. Either way, it seems timely to have my first look at the 2012 roster.

*asterisk denotes rookie

QB (3): Roethlisberger, Leftwich, C. Batch

RB (4): Redman, Dwyer, Rainey*, B. Batch (Mendenhall replaces Batch after PUP)

FB (1): Johnson

TE (3): Miller, Pope, Paulson* (Saunders replaces Paulson after suspension)

WR (5): Wallace, A. Brown, Sanders, Cotchery, Clemons*

OL (9): Adams*, Colon, Pouncey, DeCastro*, Gilbert, Essex, Foster, Legursky, Starks

DL (7): Keisel, McLendon, Hood, Heyward, Ta'amu*, Woods, Bryant (Hampton replaces Bryant after PUP)

LB (8): Harrison, Timmons, Foote, Woodley, Worilds, Sylvester, Spence*, Carter

CB (5): Taylor, Lewis, C. Allen, C. Brown, Frederick*

S (5): Clark, Polamalu, Mundy, W. Allen, Rolle

ST (3): Suisham, Butler*, Beachum*

Some Roster notes:

  • Look out for this team if they get off to a hot start. After week 7, Mendenhall, Hampton, and Saunders will have returned to the roster ready to contribute and provide a shot in the arm for this team around midseason.
  • The Steelers have kept 6 WRs in recent years, but I expect that to change under Haley. However, I expect Chris Rainey to be used heavily in the passing game so he can serve as our "6th WR".
  • Though there are only 9 OL listed, rookie Kelvin Beachum has gotten rave reviews from Kevin Colbert for his intelligence and versatility. He looks like he can follow Trai Essex's steps as a backup who can play almost any position. For now, however, he serves as our Long Snapper while he finds his niche with the backups. I believe he will get his first looks at Guard and maybe Center.
  • The final roster spot came down to Mortty Ivy vs Myron Rolle. I gave the nod to Rolle for the extra (needed) depth in the secondary. Will Allen is valuable as a special teamer but offers almost nothing as a backup Safety.
  • As for my predictions for the 2012 season, for now I will only say that I expect this team to make a serious playoff run. This could be the most exciting draft class in quite some time, and this team will consider anything less than a Super Bowl victory a failure.
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