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Predicting the Pittsburgh Steelers 53-man roster: Post-NFL Draft

While the Steelers currently have 90 players on their offseason roster, it is time to take a stab at who will make the 53-man roster.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are just settling in with their 90-man offseason roster. The roster which has some former AAF players, Undrafted Rookie Free Agents, rookie draft picks and those veterans we all know and love.

But at the end of training camp the team has to narrow their roster from 90 players down to 53. While some might think the practice of predicting the roster is premature, think again. Myseld and Dave Schofield have put together our predictions below.

Above each section you will see whether the prediction is mine, Jeff’s, or Dave’s. That way, if you want to criticize us, you can take aim at the correct target in the comment section below.

Here goes nothing...


Quarterback (3)


Ben Roethlisberger, Joshua Dobbs, Mason Rudolph

Analysis: The only question is who will end up in the number two spot, Dobbs or Rudolph?


Analysis: No disagreement here...

Running Back (3)


James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell Jr.

Analysis: The drafting of Snell bumped Trey Edmunds off the 53. These three should be the guys.


Analysis: Seems the team has their stable of running backs.

Fullback (1)


Roosevelt Nix

Analysis: The only thing to make this change would be an injury.


Analysis: Rosie Nix for the win!

Wide Receiver (6)


JuJu Smith-Schuster, Donte Moncrief, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Eli Rogers, Ryan Switzer

Analysis: With who they have going into camp, there isn’t any need to keep more than these six.


Analysis: I agree the team keeps six receivers this season, barring injury. Me agreeing with Dave so much so far is making me sick.

Tight End (3)


Vance McDonald, Xavier Grimble, Zach Gentry

Analysis: Unless they pick up someone else, these are the three.


Analysis: I believe the Steelers will add another tight end to the mix, but at this time they have to be on the offseason roster to predict them making the 53, so I’ll have to agree with the above trio.

Offensive Line (9)


Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Alejandro Villanueva, Matt Feiler, Chukwuma Okorafor, Jerald Hawkins, B.J. Finney, Zach Banner

Analysis: Very similar to last year, only Hawkins was on the IR and not the 53. Hopefully Derwin Grey can get to the practice squad.


Analysis: Derwin Gray’s only shot at making this roster is if there is an injury at a position ahead of him.

Total Offense: 25


Defensive Line (5)


Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu, Isaiah Buggs

Analysis: If Buggs can unseat McCullers as the back-up nose tackle, the Steelers only need to keep five players due to position flexibility.


Analysis: I agree with Dave only because I hope the Daniel McCullers experiment in Pittsburgh has finally reached its end. However, a part of me feels Buggs could be the next Joshua Frazier.

Outside Linebacker (5)


T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Anthony Chickillo, Ola Adeniyi, Sutton Smith

Analysis: They only kept three for most of last year, but their depth this year will help with special teams.


Analysis: While I think Sutton Smith makes the roster, I don’t see Smith actually playing OLB barring an injury. The shocker pick would be Keion Adams showing out in his third year.

Inside Linebacker (5)


Vince Williams, Mark Barron, Devin Bush, Tyler Matakevich, Ulysses Gilbert III

Analysis: They carry five players with Gilbert because of special teams value. He’ll battle with Matakevich for a game-day helmet.


Analysis: If there is a shock here it would be Matakevich getting cut if Gilbert shows out. But for what Matakevich lacks in talent, he makes up for in awareness and brains. I don’t see him getting cut.

Cornerback (6)


Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Mike Hilton, Artie Burns, Cameron Sutton, Justin Layne

Analysis: Hopefully Artie Burns finds his head again and can be a serviceable back up. If so, Sutton beats our Brian Allen for the last spot.


Analysis: The Steelers don’t want to admit a huge mistake like drafting Artie Burns, so they will keep him on the roster. But if there is going to be a surprise here it would be a potential trade involving Burns if he proves to be playing well in the preseason.

Safety (4)


Sean Davis, Terrell Edmunds, Marcus Allen, P.J. Locke

Analysis: I included Locke making the team as a UFA with him and Allen beating out Jordan Dangerfield. With a couple corners and one linebacker who can play safety, they only keep four.


Analysis: I don’t have Locke making the team over Dangerfield. It doesn’t change the overall number of players making the roster, but Dangerfield has the experience on his side.

Total Defense: 25

Special Teams

Specialists (3)


Chris Boswell, Jordan Berry, Kameron Canaday

Analysis: I wish it would be anybody else (even Canaday has too many holding penalties), but I don’t see them getting beaten out.


Analysis: While I wish the team would move on from both Boswell and Berry after such horrible years, their current contracts will likely keep them in Pittsburgh for another season. Let’s just hope 2018 was a blip on the radar.

Total Team: 53

At this stage of the game, you can see Dave and I don’t differ very much when it comes to our predictions for the upcoming 2019 roster; however, a lot can change after minicamp and OTAs coming up. This is when we will take another stab and update our predictions!

Let us know what you think in the comment section below!