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: Defensive Line
Defensive Tackles/Ends: Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, L.T. Walton, Tyson Alualu, Joshua Frazier, Parker Cothren, Greg Gilmore, Lavon Hooks, Darnell Leslie, Casey Sayles, Kendal Vickers,
Nose Tackle: Javon Hargrave, Daniel McCullers,
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.
Cameron Heyward (DE) — Wreck it Cam is back, and better than ever.
Javon Hargrave (NT) — Expect big things from Hargrave this season, if the team can finally figure out a way to keep him on the field more.
Stephon Tuitt (DE) — Tuitt has some huge expectations on his shoulders, and the No. 1 goal for him is simple — stay healthy so you can impact the game.
Tyson Alualu (DT/NT) — Alualu played very well last season as the first defensive lineman on the field within their rotation. His versatility to play all three positions makes him a very key part of the Steelers’ defensive front in 2018.
L.T. Walton — Like Alualu, Walton showed the ability to play all three positions last season. While he isn’t quite as effective as Alualu, he is another player who can spell Tuitt and/or Heyward and the production level won’t drop tremendously.
Joshua Frazier — The only way Frazier makes the team is if he can prove to do two things well: play special teams, and be a short yardage plug in the middle of the defense at the nose tackle position. In other words, do what McCullers does, and get it done at a cheaper rate. If he can’t do this, McCullers might be around for another season.
Players to be Cut:
Parker Cothren, Greg Gilmore, Lavon Hooks, Darnell Leslie, Casey Sayles, Kendal Vickers, Daniel McCullers
Roster Spots taken: 46/53
Next position: Quarterbacks
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
Predicting the Starting Offensive Linemen
Predicting the Starting Specialists