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Steelers practice squad prediction: Alan Baxter and Brian Arnfelt are must-haves

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Getting in an early practice squad prediction, even as the dust has barely settled on the Steelers 2013 roster selection, is always a good time. Eight guys make it, we're naming those eight.

Justin K. Aller

The Steelers and other NFL teams can keep up to eight players on their practice squad, provided they are eligible (see the rules of the NFL practice squad here).

Of the players the Steelers released, there are several appealing options as far as guys they might want to keep.

In fact, it's kind of a surprise some of them aren't on the 53-man roster. For now, at least.

A very early practice squad prediction, which doesn't take into account the relatively low possibility of one or two of them getting signed elsewhere:

CB Terry Hawthorne - Steelers fifth round pick, had some injury issues, which was detrimental in his efforts, but he's a young player with enough potential to have grabbed the Steelers' attention in the first place.

CB Josh Victorian - A somewhat game-tested cornerback, perhaps a lack of impact on special teams hurt him in the end.

LB Marshall McFadden - Still looks to be a potential contributor in the near future.

OL Mike Golic Jr. - Still a work-in-progress, but at a position the Steelers may need a starting-level player in the near future. Any of the five offensive line positions, actually, and it seemed like Golic tried all of them at various points. Could be a developmental kind of player in the mold of Kelvin Beachum and Trai Essex (both made the team their rookie years, though).

DL Brian Arnfelt - Did enough this preseason to consider his cut a surprise. Very strong, very smart player.

WR Justin Brown - Beaten out in a very competitive battle with Derek Moye. Still isn't far behind him.

DL Alameda Ta'amu - Something of a surprise cut, perhaps an early hamstring injury held him back in camp. Still, he was a fourth round pick in 2012, it's tough to think the Steelers would want to get rid of him now, considering how much time they've put in, and the public scrutiny they've faced over his legal situation.

OLB Alan Baxter - Veteran Chris Carter's two-sack performance must have been enough to keep him on the team for another year. Baxter was impressive all camp. This won't be the last we hear of him.

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