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.
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.
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
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