The Steelers have cut their roster down to 53 players, and the next task will be forming their 11-man practice squad once players clear waivers Sunday at noon. As for the makeup of who the Steelers will look to sign on Sunday, the Steelers have a general idea of how many players they want at a given position in total between the active roster and the practice squad.
Keep in mind, the 11 practice squad positions are not simply for the Steelers to try to hide players away from other teams, but they serve a specific purpose in preparation each week. Case in point, from what I have been able to research, the Steelers have not kept a quarterback on the practice squad for the season since 2000, and it was their third QB. Additionally, the Steelers have not kept a kicker or punter in the Kevin Colbert era. So when making determinations as to the makeup of the squad, position variety will be important.
Projected 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers Practice Squad
- Diontae Spencer, WR
- Johnny Holton, WR
- Trey Edmunds, RB
- Christian Scotland-Williamson, TE (IPP exemption)
- Kevin Rader, TE
- Patrick Morris, OL
- Derwin Gray, OL
- Henry Mondeaux, DL
- Sutton Smith, OLB
- Robert Spillane, ILB
- Marcus Allen, S
There are two differences from my pre-cutdown prediction. First, I substituted Johnny Holton in for Trey Griffey. While I hadn’t chosen Holton for the 53-man roster, I really wanted to do so and was hoping he would make it. I thought there was no reason to keep him around as a seventh receiver, but when the Steelers decided to only keep five WR’s on the active roster, keeping Holton seemed more like a necessity.
The other change was Patrick Morris for the recently traded Jerald Hawkins. Morris spent all of 2018 on the Steelers practice squad and seems to be headed back there again. Hawkins, a fourth-round pick in 2016, spent two seasons on the IR and never really developed in the way the Steelers had hoped. In the trade to Tampa Bay, the Steelers received a 2021 sixth-round drafter pick while shipping off a 2021 seventh-round pick as well.
Currently Kevin Rader is included, but if the Steelers make a move at tight end I would have Zach Gentry take his spot from the active roster. Right now the “luxury” players would be Smith and Spillane as the Steelers kept five players on the 53 at each position.
A complete list of players from the Steelers preseason roster who are practice-squad eligible can be seen HERE.
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