2012 Steelers 53 Man Roster Prediction – Post Preseason Game 3 Edition

The Pittsburgh Steelers third preseason game is now in the books and once again it is time to take another stab at a 53 man roster prediction.

Before you just jump straight to the comments, make sure to read my reasoning so you know where am I coming from on this prediction.

This morning on The Terrible Podcast I was thinking one way and since the news about James Harrison and Jason Worilds being removed from the PUP surfaced, I have once again switched course from what I stated in the Tuesday show. We all await the final word on David DeCastro after his surgery that is scheduled for Wednesday.

Here are my previous roster projections dating back to just before the draft.

Post Draft

Pre Training Camp

Post Preseason Game 1

Post Preseason Game 2

Below is my explanation of my current numbers.

Offense (25)

QB (3) – I still cant convince myself that the Steelers will cut Charlie Batch and carry only 2 quarterbacks on the 53 man roster, especially after Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that Batch will play a lot Thursday night. Why would he risk injury to veteran he was going to cut a day later and have to guarantee the salary? It just does not add up, but of course I could be over thinking it. Also, someone needs to take the 7th spot on the inactive list. If not him, who?

RB (5) – Mendenhall will be inactive the first few weeks and with Isaac Redman not 100% yet, it makes sense to keep Baron Batch, who continues to play a big role on special teams. I still have them keeping 5 running backs total.

WR (4) – As I stated previously, Todd Haley very rarely uses four wide receiver sets and Chris Rainey gives the ability to serve as a receiver should injuries strike in a game. Batch and David Paulson can too for that matter. David Gilreath shows the most promise to keep on the practice squad in my eyes. I think they carry 4 to start. Mike Wallace will be ready and that was the only real question mark.

FB (1)Will Johnson is the only fullback after Jamie McCoy was released. If he gets injured, Leonard Pope will get the remaining snaps there when needed.

TE (3) – I now believe Paulson will make the roster as a third tight end and an emergency wide receiver until Weslye Saunders returns from his suspension.

OL (9) – As it looks right now, the Steelers plan on carrying DeCastro on the 53 man roster. This could change depending on how his Wednesday surgery goes, but the winner here is Trai Essex as he moves back inside the bubble, as he can play all 5 positions on the line. I have both Kelvin Beachum and Ryan Lee making the practice squad.

Defense (25)

NT (3) – This should be self explanatory with Steve McLendon, Casey Hampton and rookie Alameda Ta\’amu all making the 53. If Hampton is healthy for the opener, Ta\’amu will be inactive.

DE (4) – This continues to be a tough battle and too close to call in my eyes as both have looked good so far in the preseason. For now I will stick with Al Woods and have Corbin Bryant returning to the practice squad.

LB (9) – Thanks to the knee injury to Stevenson Sylvester, Brandon Johnson is a lock to make the roster. He can play both inside and outside and plays on all of the special teams units. He might have been a lock even before that. The activation of Harrison and Worilds from the PUP list cleared up a lot of uncertainty at this position numbers wise. Also Mortty Ivy was waived injured with a hamstring injury, so that is another player no longer needed to worry about. Assuming Worilds is healthy enough to play in the opener, I think he will cost Adrian Robinson his shot at the 53 man roster and thus he stays on my practice squad. Ultimately the DeCastro injury might have hurt Robinson as well.

CB (4) – If the Steelers keep a 5th safety for week 1 with Ryan Clark sidelined, I have no choice but to carry just 4 cornerbacks for week 1. The only other way they keep a 5th is by releasing Batch, but once again, you need 7 inactive players. Woods would be the only option then I believe. I have rookies Terrence Frederick and Josh Victorian both making the practice squad.

S (5) – I have really battled myself here between Damon Cromartie-Smith and Robert Golden. Golden continues to stick out and we will see if he gets early looks on special teams instead of Cromartie-Smith Thursday night. This battle is like the Woods versus Bryant one. I don\’t think the coaching staff has made up their mind yet on this one.

Specialist (3)

K (1)Danny Hrapmann is gone, so unless the Steelers sign another free agent vetreran kicker off the wire, Shaun Suisham makes the 53 as the kicker.

P (1)Jeremy Kapinos has yet to punt and so Drew Butler wins the job uncontested.

LS (1) – I have been in the corner of Greg Warren the whole time and the release of Matt Katula makes this easy.

Others (10)

IR (1) – David Johnson and hopefully that is it. we will see if DeCastro ends up here.

SUSP (1) – Saunders and hopefully that is it.

PS (8) – This week it is Beachum, Lee, Robinson, Victorian, Johnson, Bryant, Frederick and Gilreath, but this is subject to change in my final one.

Summation: Three quarterbacks versus two quarterbacks, Woods versus Bryant, Golden versus Cromartie-Smith and the uncertainty about DeCastro are still unanswered questions in my mind.

2012 Steelers Post Preseason Game 3 Edition 53 Man Roster Prediction

7QBBen Roethlisberger
4QBByron Leftwich
16QBCharlie Batch
34RBRashard Mendenhall
33RBIsaac Redman
27RBJonathan Dwyer
20RBBaron Batch
22RBChris Rainey
17WRMike Wallace
84WRAntonio Brown
88WREmmanuel Sanders
89WRJerricho Cotchery
53CMaurkice Pouncey
73G/TRamon Foster
64G/CDoug Legursky
77TMarcus Gilbert
74GWillie Colon
78TMax Starks
76TMike Adams
79G/TTrai Essex
66GDavid DeCastro
48TEDavid Paulson
83TEHeath Miller
45TE/FBLeonard Pope
46FBWill Johnson
98NTCasey Hampton
90NTSteve McLendon
95NTAlameda Ta\’amu
96DEZiggy Hood
99DEBrett Keisel
97DECameron Heyward
65DEAl Woods
24CBIke Taylor
23CBKeenan Lewis
31CBCurtis Brown
28CBCortez Allen
43SSTroy Polamalu
25FSRyan Clark
29SRyan Mundy
30FSRobert Golden
26SWill Allen
50ILBLarry Foote
94ILBLawrence Timmons
51ILBSean Spence
92OLBJames Harrison
56OLBLaMarr Woodley
93OLBJason Worilds
55ILB/OLBStevenson Sylvester
54OLBChris Carter
48ILB/OLBBrandon Johnson
60LSGreg Warren
9PDrew Butler
6KShaun Suisham
85FBDavid Johnson
82TEWeslye Saunders
68G/TKelvin Beachum
37CBTerrence Frederick
8QBJerrod Johnson
35CBJosh Victorian
69GRyan Lee
18WRDavid Gilreath
46OLBAdrian Robinson
91DECorbin Bryant

  • Vin

    I think Johnson is QB3 and not Batch.

  • Brendon Glad

    I’ll be disappointed if they cut Robinson. Worilds has had more than enough time to prove his body can’t take the rigors…in my mind he’d probably make it to practice squad also…if he’s eligible. But I’m not worried. Usually the 4th game is where the guys who really want it, put their final stamp on the camp. I think the “one trick pony” will show some other tricks that will make it impossible to cut him.

  • SteelSpine

    Nice. As with your previous 53s, hard to disagree with any of that logic.
    It has been appearing that this offseason Steelers’ scouts did a TOP job finding real talent in the pool of non-drafted FAs. Altho other teams usually find a nugget or two in their non-drafted FAs, doubt those teams found the number of nuggets we found this offseason. Some of the handful of FA real-finds:
    – QB Johnson’s impressive tools.
    – Robinson’s talents look to be keepers for the future when we might look back & say “wow we got him as FA, how’d we find him, reminds of finding Harrison.
    – Brandon Johnson we found without trading or using any draft pick – that dude’s not-only going to be a special-teams tackler he was before we got him but I think that dude’s gonna ba an eventual starter at any LB position.
    – Previous-find McClendon was a non-drafted FA in the past & he now appears to be a beast (forget that the Steelers had cut him a coupla times tho, heheh).
    – Golden might stick, at-least on PS squad.
    Yeah other teams find a Robert Golden, but this list of FA nuggets is not all of them, & there’s the maybe-nuggets (Lee? ) making this preseason fascinating.

  • Brendon Glad

    I agree with everything u said…I hope Johnson (qb ) w/o cutting batch. Brandon Johnson always seemed to be a name that stuck as a “royal pain in the butt” in most Bengal games so it kills 2 birds in theory…love Robinson he will come thru tomorrow I think…has anyone else noticed that the Steelers are quite young now? That’swhat 3 primo drafts does…and the cool thing is it doesn’t show on paper cuz we have about 7 guys 32+ love it!!!!

  • Brendon Glad

    “Can stick around” in first sentence

  • grw1960

    Well done Roster.
    Knowing the Rooney’s loyalty to C. Batch you are probably right on that 3d QB.
    But I think it is time for them to have a younger 3d QB, Johnson has shown some growth and promise. We will probably find out more deciding stuff about Johnson in this last preseason game.

  • Prevailing wisdom seems to be that (other than potentially a kicker) we wont pick up anyone from other teams after cuts are made. Living outside of DC, I’d like to see Chris Cooley get a shot with us. My son tried to recruit him in to the Steelers last year in Cooley’s Leesburg VA art gallery last year:-)

  • burgh_fan

    I looked at the post draft roster and it’s surprising how little it has changed. The only two differences on offense are Wil Johnson for the IR David Johnson and Menedenahll over Clemons. Both of those are injury related changes. No performance changes on the offensive side at all.
    I suppose there are a few more on defense but the two non-injury related ones Bryant-Woods and Cromartie-Smith-Golden you have as toss ups. The only other change is Johnson over Frederick and again that is due to LB injuries. In the specialist the punter changed but again only due to injury.
    So with the four injury changes (W Johnson, Mendenhall, B Johnson, Butler) not withstanding you have a chance to have nailed this right immediately after the draft. Excellent work.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I think its a lot to assume that either Worilds or Harrison will play in the first game. For this reason, I don’t expect the 8/31 roster to be the same as the Denver roster. I think the Batches make the 8/31 roster, but 1 or both of them may not go to Denver.