The Current Roster, on the road to making the 53, Offense.

Same as before, this time looking at the offense. Last year we started with 26 offensive players. Most of the time you see 24 offense, 24 defense, 2 wild cards, and 3 specialists. With Spaeth injured we went offense for both wild cards, carrying 5 TE's on our initial 53 last season. That isn't likely to happen again.

QB: 2013 3 spots.

Locks: 2 spots

Ben Roethlisberger: Starting QB.

Bruce Gradkowski: Backup QB.

Almost a lock:

Landry Jones: Almost assuredly has the job, unless he sucks his way out of it.

Camp QB:

Kay Brendan: Even if Jones gets cut he likely won't get the #3 spot.

No excitement here, likely the same 3 as last year. Hopefully Landry Jones shows some big steps forward.

RB: 2013 4 spots

Locks: 2 spots

Le'Veon Bell: starter

Legarrette Blount: #2

Could be listed at WR: 1 spot

Dri Archer: the lack of RB depth on the roster right now and the number of WR's makes me bet he gets listed at RB, but plays both spots.

Long Shots:

Miguel Maysonet: natural runner, but lacks vision or versatility.

Tauren Poole: Injured rookie year, my pick for that guy that does well in preseason scrub time without being a real threat to make the team.

Alexander Alvester: Was on our practice squad all last year. We kept him afterwards, maybe there's something there, or maybe he just knows the playbook.

Even with Archer there's 3 RB's, so we are going to want another body, I expect we'll grab a free agent for cheap to be depth, but who knows maybe one of the three we have now will stick.

FB: 2013 1 spot.

Locks: 1

Will Johnson: Pretty easy call here, there isn't anyone else, and we will take a FB.

TE: 2013 5 spots

Locks: 1

Heath Miller: Starter

Most Likely to make it.

Matt Spaeth: 30 yrs old, low dead money, he's probably a near lock but he could get beat.

David Paulson: He's cheap and he's got actual experience, needs to show he can be more than a body on the roster.

Hoping to steal a spot on the roster.

Michael Palmer: resigned him after he played some snaps for us last year, really low cap hit, no dead money if he's cut.

Rob Blanchflower: 7th round blocking TE, could win a spot if he's the best blocker.

Eric Waters: another blocking TE, was used in backfield a lot in college. long shot to be a David Johnson type payer.

Bryce Davis: Listed as TE/LS but he wasn't a good TE even in college, so he's a LS prospect.

Not likely to carry 5 onto the 53, 3 or 4 is likely though.

WR: 2013 5 spots

Locks: 3

Antonio Brown: Destroyer of worlds.

Marcus Wheaton: caught 6 passes last year, will have a top shot at the #2 receiver, but no matter what he's on the team.

Lance Moore: Got a 2 year $3mill contract, he's making the 53.

Very likely on the 53:

Martavis Bryant: he was a project when drafted, would have to really screw it up to get cut (or three other players really tear it up)

Top contenders for depth spot(s).

Justin Brown: showing some signs that a big leap could be happening.

Darius Heyward Bey: On a 1 yr deal, throw him out there see if he can catch what Ben throws. Doesn't look promising for him.

Derek Moye: Has size, shows promise occasionally, needs to make some big plays to make the team.

Could be a WR:

Dri Archer: could be listed as a WR, likely if the Steelers grab a RB or two to fill out the roster.

Really long Shots:

Danny Coale: Are we done comparing every slot WR with white skin to Wes Welker? If not this kid reminds me of Wes Welker, without the production.

CJ Goodwin: My darkhorse candidate to make the team. Why? Because Mel Blount told the Steelers to give him a chance, who wants to tell Mel the kid got cut? (has 4.4 speed, and that's all I know)

Kashif Moore: sub 4.4 speed, makes good cuts. Could be a slot guy if he can put it together on the field. 5'10" makes it tough. Maybe he can learn from Lance Moore.

Lanear Sampson: deep route runner in college, hasn't done anything at this level.

5 spots, maybe 6 means Moye Brown and DHB are fighting for 1 or 2 spots, should be a good fight, my money's on Brown but I'm not betting much.

OL: 2013 8 spots

Locks: 5

Mike Adams: When you have raw talent, a cap hit under $1mill and a new O-Line coach named Mike Munchak it is very unlikely you get cut, no matter what your flaws are. Cutting Adams would save under $500k.

Kelvin Beachum: When your cap hit is under $600k and you did a decent job starting at LT you don't get cut. He could suck at Tackle this year and still be Guard/Center depth.

David DeCastro: He lived up to his billing last season.

Ramon Foster: Very solid guard, and the veteran of the line.

Maurkice Pouncey: He's the Man up front. Is Pouncey's health the reason we are itching cut blocks?

Near Locks

Marcus Gilbert: Playing for a contract this year, similar situation with Adams above, but his cap hit is higher and dead money lower, if Adams and Gilbert struggle Gilbert's the more likely cut. Still only $800k saved by cutting him, that's a minimum player, so it is highly unlikely he gets cut.

Guy Whimper: It hurts to put him here, but unless we sign a vet FA I don't see him getting cut. I'd love a young guy to knock him off the roster, not likely to happen.

Cody Wallace: Filled in last year and did really well. Has versatility on the inside and is our insurance policy on Pouncey. His sub-$1mill contract is over 50% dead money, he isn't a likely cut.

Cluster of Hopefuls:

David Snow: G/C sat on the PS last year.

Wesley Johnson: Rookie OT, 1st O-Lineman drafted in the Munchak era.

Chris Hubbard: Sat on PS last year, he's an athletic Guard, but needed to bulk up and get his game elevated.

Will Simmons: His pass blocking got him noticed by some scouts, he could turn into something. (guard)

Bryant Browning: Big slow run blocking Guard, good power, poor technique.

Chris Elkins: Productive Center at his level, lack of versatility (way too small for guard) is a big negative.

Emmanuel McCray: College Tackle with some promise at Guard.

Overall there isn't much competition for the veterans. I went into more detail on the scrubs because of Munchak. Who knows what he can do with them? Tennessee turned a good number of nobodies into solid backups/short term starters under his watch, so don't be surprised if one of the young guys becomes something in a few years.

On offense the positions to watch are RB depth behind Le-backfield, the fight for 5th WR, and the development of the O-Line under Munchak.

EDIT: Got mixed up with Spaeth and Paulson at the end of last year, thanks to the comments below got that straightened out.

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