For those of you who read the headline to this article and rolled your eyes thinking “Here we go again with another 53-man roster prediction article” — think again.
Every outlet around the country is doing their own version of predicting who will, and won’t, make the Pittsburgh Steelers’ final roster after training camp. The offseason has officially ended, but I decided to go a bit more in-depth on the prediction side of things. Therefore, I decided to lead up to my first complete 53-man roster prediction by going position-by-position and deciding who makes the team and who doesn’t.
Today’s position: Offensive Line
Centers: Maurkice Pouncey, B.J. Finney, Parker Collins, Patrick Morris
Guards: David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, B.J. Finney, Chris Schleuger
Tackles: Alejandro Villanueva, Marcus Gilbert, Matt Feiler, Chukwuma Okorafor, Joseph Cheek, Larson Graham, Jake Rodgers, R.J. Prince
This will certainly be something not decided until training camp/the preseason rolls around, but I have a feeling I know what the depth chart will look like, and how each player will fit into the team’s scheme when all is said and done, barring injury.
Alejandro Villanueva (OT) — Big Al returns in hopes of improving on a mediocre 2017 campaign.
Ramon Foster (OG) — Entering the last year of his contract, Foster remains a starter on this offensive line.
Maurkice Pouncye (C) — Some have said his game has declined, but he still remains the team’s best option at center.
David DeCastro (OG) — Coming off a ridiculous 2017 season. He is good at football.
Marcus Gilbert (OT) — Some wanted Chris Hubbard more than Gilbert, but when healthy, and not suspended, Gilbert is one of the best RTs in the game.
Matt Feiler (OT) — Feiler is a player who actually saw some time on the active game day roster last year during Gilbert’s injuries and suspension. I like what he brings to the team, and he could be a very valuable asset to have with Jerald Hawkins now out of the mix for the backup tackle spot.
B.J. Finney — Finney very well could be the next Cody Wallace, minus the scrum shenanigans, but is extremely valuable in the interior of the offensive line. Finney will undoubtedly make the team, but he also is the only pure interior reserve lineman on the team.
Chukwuma Okorafor — The rookie has the look of an NFL tackle, but can Mike Munchak continue to work his magic with these rough-around-the-edges linemen? Time will tell, but “Chuks” and Feiler will be in a battle for the swing tackle who enters the game as an extra tight end in jumbo packages, as well as the primary backup in case of injury.
Players to be Cut:
Parker Collins, Patrick Morris, Chris Schleuger, Joseph Cheek, Larson Graham, Jake Rodgers, R.J. Prince
Roster Spots taken: 37/53
Next position: Defensive Line
Predicting the Starting Safeties
Predicting the Starting Inside Linebackers
Predicting the Starting Wide Receivers
Predicting the Starting Running Backs
Predicting the Starting Cornerbacks
Predicting the Starting Outside Linebackers