Projected 2014 Roster

Now that the draft is over, here's my projected 2014 roster:

QB(3): Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones

Nothing new here. Only real thing to keep an eye on is if UDFA Brendon Kay can steal the #3 job from Jones. I doubt it, and hope to see Jones make significant strides this preseason.

RB(3): Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount, Dri Archer*

Archer brings the type of rare speed that neither Bell nor Blount have, but make no mistake: this is still the "LeBackfield." Archer's offensive reps will start off very limited until he proves he can consistently make big plays.

FB(1): Will Johnson

Again, nothing new here.

TE(3): Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, Michael Palmer

Hopefully Miller and Spaeth can stay healthy this year. The offense really didn't take off in 2013 until both were close to 100%. Also, I've seen enough of David Paulson, and expect Michael Palmer to be the #3.

WR(5): Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Martavis Bryant*, Darrius Heyward-Bey

Would love to see Bryant push Wheaton for the starting job early, but for now I'll be conservative and slot him at #4. Only other real competition here is Derek Moye vs. DHB for the last spot. I'm going with DHB's speed.

OT(4): Kelvin Beachum, Mike Adams, Marcus Gilbert, Wesley Johnson*

I was glad to see the Steelers get Johnson for some nice depth, and wouldn't be surprised if he ends up starting at some point in his career. Beachum vs Adams for the LT spot will be one of the biggest training camp battles this year.

G/C(5): Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Cody Wallace, Nik Embernate

Once again, very little change here. That's not surprising because of how well the offense came together last year. Only change is Embernasty over Guy Whimper for the backup G spot.

DL(6): Cam Heyward, Steve McLendon, Stephon Tuitt*, Cam Thomas, Daniel McCullers*, Brian Arnfelt

Massive changes on the DL. And I mean massive literally, as Tuitt and McCullers are enormous young men and should help keep the LBs clean early and often. The last spot came down to Arnfelt or Hebron Fangupo, and I went with the upside.

OLB(4): Jarvis Jones, Jason Worilds, Chris Carter, Arthur Moats

If it wasn't already apparent the Steelers are committed to Jason Worilds, it is now. The Steelers passed on taking an OLB in the draft and depth there is now scarily thin in my opinion. Expect Worilds to get an extension after June 1st and let's all hope this position doesn't get bit by injuries.

ILB(5): Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier*, Vince Williams, Sean Spence, Terence Garvin

At ILB, meanwhile, depth is pretty crowded. Shazier will replace Williams in the starting lineup sooner rather than later, and we'll hopefully get some great special teams contributions from this group. The last spot came down to Garvin or 6th round pick Jordan Zumwalt. Garvin gets the edge due to an extra year in the system.

CB(6): Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Shaquille Richardson*, Brice McCain, Antwon Blake

Depth at CB isn't as awful as it looks, since even a first round pick would've been the #4 at best. The future is not bright at this position, however, with only Gay and Richardson signed beyond 2014. Expect Allen to get a contract extension before the season, as the Steelers cannot risk losing him next year. Blake and McCain should provide good special teams play, with the hope that they don't look too lost if/when they have to play defense in case of injury.

S(5): Troy Polamalu, Mike Mitchell, Shamarko Thomas, Will Allen, Robert Golden

A future hall of famer, a solid starter, a young heir-apparent, a veteran backup, and a special teams ace. This group is as solid as any on the team.

ST(3): Shaun Suisham, Brad Wing, Greg Warren

Suisham: good. Warren: good. Wing: total wild card.

Practice Squad: RB Alvester Alexander, TE Rob Blanchflower, WR Justin Brown, G/C Chris Elkins, DE Nick Williams, DE Josh Mauro, LB Jordan Zumwalt, CB Devon Carrington

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