Title says it all.
The Steelers need to keep 3 Quarterbacks due to Ben's injury issues. It is almost a forgone conclusion that he will miss time due to injury at some point this season.
The current injury to Le'Veon Bell leaves the Steelers RB position group right back where they were last year. They need depth and I don't see any reason why they shouldn't keep both Redman and Dwyer at the start of the season and LSH has shown to be a quality 3rd Down/COP RB. They won't likely be putting Bell on the PUP or Designated-IR due to the fact that they are counting on him to pretty much take over this Offense at some point in the near future. They want him to play as early as he can. That means the Steelers need to keep 4 RBs on the roster (for now).
- Will Johnson
Will Johnson is our Full Back, plain and simple. There isn't any need to keep more than one. Johnson should get significant touches in our Offense this season.
Wide Receiver (5)
I would like the Steelers to be able to keep 6 WRs on the roster, but the depth at other needy positions (RB, TE, ILB) could force them to sacrifice this group's depth for the time being. They should keep at least 2 WRs on the Practice Squad.
Tight End (4)
With Heath Miller likely out until past our Week 5 Bye, Tight End looks to be our weakest position on the Roster. The Steelers aren't going to have Miller start the season on the PUP list so he takes up a precious roster spot even though he is hurt. That means the Steelers need to keep an extra TE for depth. DJ, Paulson, and McCoy are likely the only TEs they can afford to keep without sacrificing other positions of need. Michael Palmer has a shot to make the roster, but that would likely hurt another position. Kelvin Beachum has also been used at TE in Preseason, so he could be a possibility here if push comes to shove.
Left Tackle (1)
- Mike Adams
The Steelers backup OL should be very versatile so there shouldn't be more than 8 OL on the roster. Mike Adams is our staring Left Tackle at the moment.
Left Guard (2)
Foster is probably our 2nd best OL atm and he is our unquestioned starter at LG. Guy Whimper is listed as a Guard on the Steelers Unofficial Depth Chart on their website.
Pouncey has been up and down in terms of production, but he is easily our best OL. As a 3x All Pro and 3x Pro Bowler, Pouncey has shown to be an impact player. Malecki should be the backup over Madsen as he has shown the essential versatility as needed by Steelers backup OL He will be used at both Guard and Center.
Right Guard (1)
After missing most of 2012 with a knee injury suffered in Preseason, DeCastro will once again be counted on to show what scouts saw in him to proclaim him the best Guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson.
Right Tackle (2)
- Marcus Gilbert
- Kelvin Beachum
Marcus Gilbert is the starter here. Like at LT, there isn't too much competition. Kelvin Beachum meanwhile, has comfortably stepped into Trai Essex's shoes of being the do-it-all backup OL who can play all 5 positions. Beachum has been getting significant time at C throughout Training Camp to broaden his versatility even more besides playing both Guard and Tackle spots.
Left Defensive End (2)
Ziggy Hood is a starter in a contract year. He will need to step up in order to give the Steelers reason to keep him. He is also being pushed by upstart Al Woods, who has dominated just about everyone he has lined up against this Preseason.
Nose Tackle (3)
Bic Mac is on the cusp of become a Steeler cult-hero. He has shown tremendous growth over the past two seasons and, particularly this Preseason, has become a force to be reckoned with at NT. He is beginning to command the double teams that Casey Hampton used to in his prime.
Right Defensive End (2)
Again, this is another position that is pretty much a lock to happen. While Brian Arnfelt has gotten some attention here on BTSC, I don't think he has shown enough to make the roster, especially over guys that could provide more depth at depth-needy positions.
Left Outside Linebacker (2)
I feel comfortable putting Baxter here over Chris Carter. Before Robinson was traded to the Eagles for Felix Jones, I would have had a hard time choosing between him and Baxter, but both have shown more than Carter has this season. It is pretty much a forgone conclusion that Carter is the odd man out here.
Left Inside Linebacker (2)
Vince Williams has shown he was probably worthy of higher than a 6th Round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and the Steelers are okay with that. Larry Foote is the unquestioned starter, but he is our oldest player on an "old" Defense.
Right Inside Linebacker (3)
Timmons is on the verge of superstardom (how many years have we been saying that now?). He is a lock to make the roster. McFadden meanwhile has been an on-and-off Practice Squad call up who has earned himself some praise this Preseason and resemblance to fomer Steelers LB James Harrison. He has easily earned himself a roster spot. Brian Rolle gets the nod here over Kion Wilson and Terrence Garvin due to having significant starting experience as a rookie with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Right Outside Linebacker (2)
This is another position that is also likely to happen. Worilds is on his last chance to prove himself while Jarvis Jones is being hailed as the best Defensive Draft pick the Steelers have made since Lawrence Timmons in 2007.
Cornerback is a position group that could have to sacrifice some depth on the 53-man roster for TE, RB, and ILB. I would like to be able to be deeper here, but 5 CBs should be okay for now. The Steelers will likely keep someone who has been around for a little while on the Practice Squad.
Free Safety (2)
Robert Golden has shown some improvement in Preseason and gets the nod over Ross Ventrone while Ryan Clark is the unquestioned starter.
Strong Safety (2)
Da'mon Cromartie-Smith will be fighting for a last roster spot, but ultimately, he will be cut because of depth issues at other positions. Shamarko "The Sharknado" Thomas has earned a roster spot as a 4th Round pick the Steelers traded up for in the 2013 NFL Draft. He is a lock for the roster as well.
Suisham had a breakout year and reports are that he has improved his kicking distance even further than it was last year to the 60-Yard range. With Hrapman having been released earlier before the final cuts were in, Suisham has locked up a roster spot.
While the battle between Butler and Moorman is up in the air right now, I have a feeling Butler has the slightest of edges thanks to his stronger leg.
Long Snapper (1)
Greg Warren has been a constant since Super Bowl XL. You don't fix what isn't broke right? Warren is a lock as well as our LS.