Steelers 2013 53 Man Roster Prediction – Post Draft

The 2013 NFL draft is now behind is and the rookie camp gets underway on Friday. As I do ever year at this time, here is my first 53 man roster prediction for the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Prior to training camp getting started, I will release my next prediction and then will have a new prediction after each and every preseason game leading up to my final 53 man roster prediction.

Feel free to list your prediction below in the comments.

Offense: (25)

Quarterbacks: (3) Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones

  • The quarterback position needs no explanation. These are the three that will be on the 53 man roster baring injuries.

Running Backs: (4) Le\’Veon Bell, Isaac Redman, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Baron Batch

  • I currently have Jonathan Dwyer as the odd man out should the Steelers only keep four running backs. Batch is valuable special teams player, smart, and can function as a change of pace back if needed. Stephens-Howling can play on all three downs if needed and also should be candidate to return kickoffs.

Fullbacks: (1) Will Johnson

  • I suspect David Johnson will put up a good battle, but Will is much more smoother in the passing game and just as good of a blocker as David.

Wide Receivers: (5) Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery, Markus Wheaton, David Gilreath

  • I have Plaxico Burress as the odd man out. He doesn\’t play special teams and his ability to take the top off of coverages went away years ago. Gilreath has much more short-term upside.

Tight Ends: (3) Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, David Paulson

  • I am betting that Miller will be ready to go by Week 1, despite what the naysayers would have you believe. It will be close. Spaeth and Paulson are simple decisions to make.

Offensive Line: (9) Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Mike Adams, Marcus Gilbert, Kelvin Beachum, Doug Legursky, Max Starks, Mike Golic Jr.

  • Magically, the numbers 78 and 64 are still available, so I am betting that both Starks and Legursky will both be re-signed at some point. It would not hurt my feelings, however, if the Steelers chose to sign Antoine Caldwell instead. Golic Jr. appears to be the best of the undrafted free agents signed and can play center in a pinch as well.

Defense: (25)

Nose Tackles: (3) Steve McLendon, Casey Hampton, Alameda Ta\’amu

  • There is no way that Ta\’amu will be ready to back up McLendon by the start of the season and it just so happens that No. 98 still hasn\’t been issued just yet. One more your for Hampton, only this time he is the backup to McLendon, while Ta\’amu continues his grooming.

Defensive Ends: (4) Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood, Cameron Heyward, Al Woods

  • All four are back from last year. Being as McLendon can also play defensive end in a pinch, this is all the Steelers will need.

Linebackers: (9) Lawrence Timmons, Larry Foote, LaMarr Woodley, Jason Worilds, Jarvis Jones, Chris Carter, Adrian Robinson, Marshall McFadden, Vince Williams

  • Out goes Stevenson Sylvester as McFadden has a chance to bypass him. McFadden can play both the BUCK and the MACK if needed. He should shine in the preseason.

Cornerbacks: (5) Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Curtis Brown, Terry Hawthorne

  • This is pretty explanatory and one more can be kept on the practice squad. All five will dress on game day and the last three should contribute on special teams.

Safeties: (4) Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Robert Golden, Shamarko Thomas

  • I debated keeping five, but Gay can function as an emergency safety. They can also keep one on the practice squad just in case.

Special Teams: (3)

Kicker: (1) Shaun Suisham

  • Suisham has earned another year.

Punter: (1) Drew Butler

  • The competition provided from Brian Moorman will do him good. He didn\’t have that last year.

Long Snapper: (1) Luke Ingram

  • I will go out on a limb and say the big kid from Hawaii dethrones Greg Warren.

Practice Squad: (8) John Malecki, Da\’Mon Cromartie-Smith, Josh Victorian, Nick Williams, Justin Brown, Jamie McCoy, Joe Long, Curtis McNeal

76Adams, MikeT
20Batch, BaronRB
68Beachum, KelvinT/G
26Bell, Le\’VeonRB
84Brown, AntonioWR
89Cotchery, JerrichoWR
66DeCastro, DavidG
73Foster, RamonG
77Gilbert, MarcusT
18Gilreath, DavidWR
67Golic Jr., MikeG/C
5Gradkowski, BruceQB
46Johnson, WillFB
3Jones, LandryQB
64Legursky, DougC/G
83Miller, HeathTE
81Paulson, DavidTE
53Pouncey, MaurkiceC
33Redman, IsaacRB
7Roethlisberger, BenQB
88Sanders, EmmanuelWR
87Spaeth, MattTE
78Starks, MaxT
34Stephens-Howling, LaRodRB
11Wheaton, MarkusWR
28Allen, CortezCB
31Brown, CurtisCB
54Carter, ChrisOLB
25Clark, RyanS
50Foote, LarryILB
22Gay, WilliamCB
21Golden, RobertS
98Hampton, CaseyNT
30Hawthorne, TerryCB
97Heyward, CameronDE
96Hood, ZiggyDE
95Jones, JarvisOLB
99Keisel, BrettDE
40McFadden, MarshallILB
90McLendon, SteveNT
43Polamalu, TroyS
57Robinson, AdrianOLB
74Ta\’amu, AlamedaNT
24Taylor, IkeCB
29Thomas, ShamarkoS
94Timmons, LawrenceILB
44Williams, VinceILB
56Woodley, LaMarrOLB
65Woods, AlDE
93Worilds, JasonOLB
Special Teams
9Butler, DrewP
6Suisham, ShaunK
48Ingram, LukeLS
Practice Squad
15Brown, JustinWR
39McNeal, CurtisRB
91Williams, NicholasDE
42Cromartie-Smith, DaMonS
79Long, JoeT
82McCoy, JamieTE
35Victorian, JoshCB
62Malecki, JohnG/C

  • T R

    I think u pretty darn close but i think we find a way to keep Dwyer… cause redman will get hurt again… and damn i hate to say it that long snapper Ingram might just win out. So here is our 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers.. if all play weil we are AFC north champs again.. Good Job Dave..

  • kersos

    On overall it’s like my roster prediction!

    McNeal could also steal batch’s spot – I really like him since some steelers fans showed me game material of him!

    And I am high on Ivory Wade and thin he’s definitly a PS-guy 😉

  • I am fine with Starks coming back but if it comes down to Caldwell or Bronco, I would rather have Caldwell as he is the only one that will push Foster for LG. Arian Foster ran pretty well down there with Caldwell out in front of him. Comes down to $$ I guess.

  • dennisdoubleday

    I disagree re Plax and Gilreath. Plax has the greater short-term upside because he brings something we don’t otherwise have–the big red zone target. That could make a huge difference. We have Brown and Wheaton to take the top off.

    Obviously Plax has no long-term upside, so he may be out on that basis. But I’d rather have him this year. He is a force-multiplier.

  • David Edward

    Agree with you except where noted below:
    RB – I can’t see them just cutting Dwyer. I think he comes back in good shape and plays for a job either with Steelers or another team. Unless traded, I think he makes it. Batch, while good on ST, seems like he’s often injured.
    TE – I could see them going with 4 if Heath isn’t 100% ready at the start. DJ would be 4th and also doubles as backup FB. He would be cut later on when they need help at another position.
    OL – Agree that they sign Starks, they really need a vet at LT for insurance, but I’ll guess Caldwell gets signed for the backup C/G (and wears 64). Golic won’t make the 53, even though it would be fun to have his dad rooting for Steelers (he’s a nice PS candidate though)
    NT – I’m going to go a completely different direction and say the new NTs look good and Ta’amu underwhelms again. So, Fangupo and Rashad-White make team.
    CB – Brown has been unimpressive as a 3rd rounder and was basically behind Victorian by season end. I’m going to say Justin King ends up winning the final DB spot.
    P – I’d be ok with Butler again but I have a feeling Moorman wins the job even though he’s 37

  • I don’t think DaMon Cromartie-Smith can still sit on the practice squad. Dwyer should be stay and Joe Long has a chance.

  • steeltown

    I agree with most of this… except

    RB – I think Dwyer stays, Redman is 5yrs older and has less upside than Dwyer

    OL – I am unsure if Legursky is brought back, he really is a subpar OG, but I could be wrong. I think ONE backup interior spot will be between Malecki, Golic Jr, Ivory Wade and Justin Cheadle, all have some position flexibility (one of them would then be stashed on the PS as well) Coach Bicknell really has his work cut out for him sifting through all of these prospects

    NT – Everyone has given up on Ta’amu..but I haven’t, I think Ta’amu will show progress in camp this year… the question is how much will Fangupo show..

    If its between C.Brown and Victorian, yes, C.Brown will win the roster spot mainly because Victorian can still be stashed on the PS… and I agree about the upside of Gilreath and the emergence of M.Mcfadden and Luke Ingram

    I like the practice squad roster

  • kersos

    Exactly my opinion!
    Btw the steelers site lists Golic as an OT and Ivory Wade as a Center.

  • steeltown

    Yea, thats gotta be a mistake.. Golic Jr has played Center and OG, while Ivory Wade played Center in 2012 he actually also played at RT and has some experience at LG as well

  • PA2AK

    RB – I would have to imagine that the Steelers will find better production from Dwyer over Redman. Dwyer is more versatile, has shown want-to in the offseason, and is 5 years younger. He’ll show up ready to play. It think he was more explosive even last year. No need for a short yardage back…that’s the rookie’s job.

    NT – has to be a reason the Steelers kept Ta’amu after that mess. It’s also hard for me to imagine Big Snack coming back for a back-up position (which should be about vet minimum).

    WR – Plax being out will probably be more defined once they are able to gauge where Heath’s health is. If Heath isn’t there…I think Plax has great value.

  • SteelSpine

    Well done! including you explained your reasoning on some that folks might otherwise disagree with. I happen to agree with all of those, when you included your logic for a couple I’m on the fence about.

    Just a couple of slots I think could go the other way:
    – I think Sly’s play at ILB this preseason will be better than McFadden, & that’s why my hunch is Sly will win a slot there. This assumes Sly will be healthy, & my assumption has been wrong on that before.
    – I’m gonna take a flier & say Fang bumps Taamu down, to potentially off the team. If Fang happens to play exactly as well as Tammu, ya keep the one who does not have driving restrictions, the one who does not need a ride everywhere & is not 1 mistake away from getting a 1-year suspension from NFL.

  • CW

    Personally I don’t see the Steelers bringing Hampton back at least before there is an injury at Nose Tackle.

    Either Dwyer or Fangupo probably make the team instead.

    Also I could easily see J.D. Woods or Justin Brown making the team over David Gilreath. Brown’s a decent, but tall wide receiver and Woods was a good possession wide receiver and strong blocker down field. So each have something the Steelers either lack (height) or like (good blocking from wide receivers).

  • dgh57

    Your first line the QB position I agree with! It’s refreshing NOT having to see Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch name there!

    I think Plax makes it(at least short term) because he’s a good Red Zone target!

    I feel they have moved on from Hampton(age) and onto Fangupo!

    Lot of these UDFA this year will have a lot to say before all is said and done!

  • NW86

    Agree with most all of these. The OL and Special Teams predictions could go a lot of different ways, but my thinking is the same as yours on all counts there. My only changes:

    1. I don’t think Big Snack comes back. I think they just keep 2 NT’s (I’ll guess Ta’amu but it could just as easily be Fangupo). In place of the 3rd NT, they keep a 10th DB, mainly for special teams play (I’ll guess Victorian, but it could be Van Dyke or Cromartie-Smith).

    2. Unless they can get something in a trade for Dwyer, I think he makes the team. As much as I hate Batch, he could be the odd man out there.

    Question: You show Cro-Smith, Victorian, and Malecki on the practice squad. They’ve all been bouncing around the league for a couple years now, are they all still eligible? I don’t know the eligibility rules in the new CBA.

  • David OBIE!

    I am looking forward to the following preseason battles

    1) Dwyer vs Redman (rb)

    2)Gilreath vs Burress (wr)

    3)Batch vs McNeal (kr)

    4) Williams vs Fangupo (nt

    5)Sylvester vs Rolle (lb)

    6)Ingram s Warren (ls)

    I think that the second string offensive line will look like this:

    Starks – Ferrell – Golic – Beachum

    how about this (Curtis Brown moves to safety)

  • StrengthOfVictory

    While they might end up releasing (or trading) Dwyer, a part of me believes that he’s the best all-around option should Bell ever be sidelined with an injury. Not that you want to think about that happening, but who is your clear #2 RB? Howling? In his first year with the Steelers?

  • steeltown

    I believe as long as they have not been on the ‘active’ roster for 9games or more AND they havent been on PS for more than 3yrs, they are eligible… DCSmith came in the League undrafted in 2010, but played in the UFL briefly, so I think that makes him eligible for another year since he hasnt accrued 3yrs of service on the PS… Malecki I am not so sure about, he has been on PS for 3yrs around the League, but maybe because it hasnt been the same Teams PS he is still eligible?? Victorian went undrafted in 2011 and is eligible for the PS

  • steeltown

    Agreed.. Dwyer is a solid #2 all day

  • Chris92021

    I agree that Legs, Starks, and Snacks will all be back (I will say right before or after training camp begins). They of course will be all back as reserves. I however think if anyone will be the odd man out at RB, it will be Isaac Redman or Baron Batch. Dwyer is still 23 and can provide a lot in the new zone blocking scheme, much more than either Redman or Batch could.

    I also think Warren will be back at LS. I think Moorman will beat out Drew Butler as well.

  • NW86

    Thanks for the response, I just did some research and posted my own response too, though it hasn’t shown up yet.

  • SteelersDepot

    Dennis Nevinsky, it’s called watching Notre Dame games. I highly suggest it as a tool for evaluating players.

    Dunn? DVD over Brown? Yikes.

  • Dan

    I agree it is unlikely Dwyer gets cut. A trade is a possibility, but unless we get good value for him, I’d rather keep him and lose Redman.

    Bold predictions on NT David! Will be interesting to see how it plays out. I agree with some others it is not real likely Hampton returns as a back up. Dave might be making too much of the current jersey number assignments.

    Nobody has any love for our 6th rounder WR Justin Brown? Perhaps the numbers do put him on the PS as Dave suggested.

  • Pete

    Everything mentioned is plausible but I don’t see Dwyer or Redman not making the 53. They can lose Batch and find his special team role somewhere else. Bell will have to earn the #1 spot but it’s possible that he’s not the #1 back come September. Howling isn’t guaranteed anything so it could come down to Howling or Batch.

  • Gilreath is horrible! If he makes the team it says a lot about our overall depth.

  • reg38

    I would add Steve Breston to that list

  • walter mason

    “I dont always play football. But when I do, I prefer the Pittsburgh Steelers.” Redzone Redman.

  • steeltown

    You could be right

  • hergieburbur

    Yeah, I don’t really get Redman over Dwyer unless there is a trade, which is unlikely.

  • kersos

    Could be..
    I think these two guys will stay Steelers! One on the roster, one in PS!!