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.
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.
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.
Will Johnson: Pretty easy call here, there isn't anyone else, and we will take a FB.
TE: 2013 5 spots
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
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:
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
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?
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.