The Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 preseason concluded Thursday night in Charlotte. With no more football to be played before the roster has to be trimmed to 53 players, it’s time to make one last roster prediction. Did anything change? Who do we have projected to make the team, and who will be looking for employment in a few weeks?
As always, we welcome you to join the conversation in our comment section below this article. Let your voice be heard and join in the black-and-gold conversation!
Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Joshua Dobbs
Analysis: Dobbs was less than impressive Thursday night, but neither was Devlin Hodges . Rudolph gets the number two job and Dobbs sticks around since nobody is going to want to give the Steelers anything for him.
Running Back (3)
James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell Jr.
Analysis: “Snell for two yards” seemed to be the theme on Thursday. If it were not for Coach Tomlin’s comments about his plays on special teams this past Tuesday, he may have been left off the roster.
Analysis: Easiest position group to figure out.
Wide Receiver (6)
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Donte Moncrief, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Ryan Switzer, Eli Rogers
Analysis: I believe Switzer is safe and Rogers is the player included who has a chance to get bumped. If anyone makes it in his place, I think Johnny Holton squeezes in as Diontae Spencer hasn’t shown enough as a receiver to justify keeping him as a return man.
Tight End (3)
Vance McDonald, Xavier Grimble, Zach Gentry
Analysis: Yuck. McDonald has a history of injury, Grimble is what we think he is, and Gentry can’t block his way out of a paper bag. With the players the Steelers have right now, this is who stays. I honestly considered only keeping two, but the position is too weak to also make it thin.
Offensive Line (9)
Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Alejandro Villanueva, Matt Feiler, Chukwuma Okorafor, B.J. Finney, Zach Banner, Fred Johnson
Changes: Johnson in
Analysis: I’ve been looking to find a spot to go with one less guy in order to keep another linebacker. Last time it was from the offensive line. That was a mistake, so Johnson is back on the roster.
Total Offense: 25
Defensive Line (6)
Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu, Isaiah Buggs, Daniel McCullers
Analysis: The only player I wasn’t sure about going into Thursday’s game was Buggs. He played well enough to earn a spot, unless they decide to only go with five. Henry Mondeaux should find himself on the Steelers’ practice squad.
Outside Linebacker (5)
T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Anthony Chickillo, Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, Tuzar Skipper
Analysis: Skipper has to stay. He’s done way to much to earn his spot on the team. If there is any surprise, it would involve Chickillo. I don’t know that the Steelers would cut him, but he many enfd up on Injured Reserve if it looks like his chest injury could cause him to miss any time. Like before, Sutton Smith heads to the practice squad.
Inside Linebacker (4)
Vince Williams, Mark Barron, Devin Bush, Ulysees Gilbert III,
Changes: Tyler Matakevich out
Analysis: I racked my brain to figure out a way to keep 10 linebackers. I considered cutting linemen (both offensive and defensive), tight ends, and safeties. I wanted to keep both Skipper and Gilbert but didn’t know how. I finally decided to do exactly what I don’t think the Steelers will do, but it’s what they should do. Gilbert has completely outplayed Matakevich as a linebacker, so keeping him around and giving him a helmet only for special teams has worn out its usefulness.
Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Mike Hilton, Cameron Sutton, Justin Layne, Artie Burns
Analysis: Other than fullback, this was the only position group I had locked in before Week 4.
Sean Davis, Terrell Edmunds, Jordan Dangerfield , Kam Kelly
Analysis: The byproduct of the linebacker situation, I don’t see the Steelers releasing two of their 2018 core special tams players. While I would have put Marcus Allen on the roster in place of Dangerfield, I would be surprised if Allen didn’t clear waivers to make it on the practice squad.
Total Defense: 25
Chris Boswell, Kameron Canaday, Jordan Berry
Analysis: While I think we’re going to be stuck with Berry for another season, the shocking move would be to keep Christian Kuntz as the long snapper. He did all the snapping Thursday and had a sack on defense. It would be nice to have a more solid defender on the punt team and someone who hopefully wouldn’t hold every play after snapping the ball.
Total Team: 53
A projected list of the Steelers’ practice-squad players will come out after the roster has been announced on Saturday. For a list of players currently on the Steelers roster who are eligible for the practice squad, click HERE.