Steelers 2013 53 Man Roster Prediction – Post OTA Practices

Three weeks of OTA practices are now behind is and the mandatory mini camp gets underway on Tuesday, so now I will move forward with my second 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.

If you missed my first 53 man roster prediction following the draft, you can view it here.

Feel free to list your prediction below in the comments or try to talk me out of any of these roster spots.

Offense: (25)

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

  • Despite Jones reportedly not looking great early on, he will still beat out John Parker Wilson for the third quarterback spot.

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

  • I still think that the real battle here is between Jonathan Dwyer and Redman for the fourth running back spot as I do not believe the team will carry two running backs that will earn $1.323 million in 2013. Dwyer really needs to get that weight in check by the time training camp rolls around.

Fullbacks: (1) Will Johnson

  • While I still expect David Johnson will put up a good battle, Will is the much better receiver of the two and showed last season he can handle the fullback position.

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

  • I still have Plaxico Burress as the odd man out and until a fifth wide receiver comes forward, I have Gilreath holding that spot for now.

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

  • I stated previously that I though Miller would be ready by the start of the season and I still believe that will happen. Spaeth and Paulson are simple decisions to make.

Offensive Line: (9) Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Mike Adams, Marcus Gilbert, Kelvin Beachum, John Malecki, Joe Long, Nik Embernate

  • Max Starks and Doug Legursky have both signed elsewhere so I have Long and Malecki taking their spots. Being as Beachum is the backup center, guard and right tackle, this forces me to push Mike Golic Jr. off the roster and onto the practice squad. I sure hope that Long can beat out Guy Whimper.

Defense: (25)

Nose Tackles: (2) Steve McLendon, Alameda Ta\’amu

  • With Woods getting reps as the second team nose tackle and Casey Hampton still nowhere in sight, I am starting to get the feeling the Steelers might only carry six defensive linemen and am wondering if they might even try to carry five. For now I will leave Ta\’amu on the 53, but I don\’t think he\’ll be ready by the start of the season to backup McLendon.

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

  • You have to think that Nick Williams is still slated for the practice squad right now and I don\’t expect any of the other undrafted defensive ends make the 53.

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

  • I still have to wonder if Stevenson Sylvester can make the 53 man roster. It could come down to either him or McFadden if the Steelers decide to only carry nine linebackers instead of ten.

Cornerbacks: (6) Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Curtis Brown, Josh Victorian, Terry Hawthorne

  • Hawthorne\’s knee surgery might hurt his chances of making the 53, but for now I will leave him and also add Victorian. Hawthorne is p[rime to be inactive early in the season.

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

  • At this point there is no reason to think the Steelers will carry five safeties being as they think Gay can play the spot in a pinch.

Special Teams: (3)

Kicker: (1) Shaun Suisham

  • Suisham has obviously earned another year.

Punter: (1) Drew Butler

  • Just a guess that Butler is able to hold off Brian Moorman, but it should be a great battle in camp nonetheless.

Long Snapper: (1) Luke Ingram

  • I will stay with my hunch that Ingram can beat out Greg Warren. This is obviously just a wild guess.

Practice Squad: (8) Mike Golic Jr., Hebron Fangupo, Nick Williams, Justin Brown, Jamie McCoy, Curtis McNeal, Derek Moye, Joe Madsen

76Adams, MikeT
20Batch, BaronRB
68Beachum, KelvinT/G/C
26Bell, Le\’VeonRB
84Brown, AntonioWR
89Cotchery, JerrichoWR
66DeCastro, DavidG
51Embernate, NikG
73Foster, RamonG
77Gilbert, MarcusT
18Gilreath, DavidWR
5Gradkowski, BruceQB
46Johnson, WillFB
3Jones, LandryQB
79Long, JoeT
62Malecki, JohnG/C
83Miller, HeathTE
81Paulson, DavidTE
53Pouncey, MaurkiceC
33Redman, IsaacRB
7Roethlisberger, BenQB
88Sanders, EmmanuelWR
87Spaeth, MattTE
34Stephens-Howling, LaRodRB
11Wheaton, MarkusWR
28Allen, CortezCB
31Brown, CurtisCB
54Carter, ChrisOLB
25Clark, RyanS
50Foote, LarryILB
22Gay, WilliamCB
21Golden, RobertS
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
35Victorian, JoshCB
44Williams, VinceILB
56Woodley, LaMarrOLB
65Woods, AlDE/NT
93Worilds, JasonOLB
Special Teams
9Butler, DrewP
6Suisham, ShaunK
48Ingram, LukeLS
Practice Squad
15Brown, JustinWR
92Fangupo, HebronNT
67Golic Jr., MikeT/G
69Madsen, JoeG/C
82McCoy, JamieTE
39McNeal, CurtisRB
14Moye, DerekWR
91Williams, NickDE

  • lefnor

    I like Gilreath but this offense badly needs a true red zone target. I think Justin Brown and Plaxico fight for that 5th WR spot. I would choose Brown.
    IMO Gilreath has to beat out Cothery for the roster. Not impossible.

    At the OL I think Malecki, Embernate and Hubbard compete for two spot. Hubbard is at least a ps candidate, because he can play 4 spots (LT/RT at UAB but guard sized) and he is a great ZBS fit. His unique speed (4.71 forty) fits well in the special team also and that can earn him a spot against Malecki or Embernate. He was the last UDFA to sign, maybe there was a big fight for him?

    Because of the uncertainty at NT and Keisel’s possible last year I would carry 7 DL (plus one young DE) in expense of the 4th RB (Batch) or the 6th CB (Victorian) spot (the better special teamer stay).

  • T R

    so is that a Super Bowl run team?

  • Shannon Stephenson

    My roster is very close to yours:

    I have 5 HB’s but I have Dwyer making the squad and McNeil beating out Batch he looked awful last year.
    I do have Whimper beating out Long but I am with you that I hope Joe does it.
    I do not have Carter making the team at OLB.
    I also believe that the LS and P positions are up in the air. I am in between on both. If I had to pick it would be Moorman and Ingram.

    Scary how close our rosters are!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    u would only carry 3 HB’s?

  • Shea Fahr

    I will be pretty happy if the 53 shapes out like this list.

  • lefnor

    Yes. Bell is good for 25 carry/game and Batch and LSH are same type of RB.
    This is not unusual. The Ravens did the same last year.
    1 FB (Leach) + 3 RB (Rice for feature RB, Pierce for backup and Allen for pass situational RB)

  • CW

    Personally I’m not sure that the Steelers will hold onto Baron Batch unless he really improves this preseason, hasn’t seemed to regain that pre-ACL tear form yet, and I think the J.D. Woods has a good shot at either making the 5th roster spot or being one of the practice squad members.

  • timmmy

    If he can overcome penalties this year on special teams, I would like DVD to make the 53, and have Victorian land on the PS.

  • Matt Searls

    So Reggie dunn doesn’t make it


    David Johnson will make the team. Book it.

  • dgh57

    He does if he can show he can return punts and play WR. Steelers like versatility. Training camp will answer that.

  • timmmy

    Slim chance, only way is Will Johnson injury.

  • Shea Fahr

    I am really on the fence between Dwyer and Redman. I suppose if Dwyer shows up to Training Camp in peak shape and running well, I would prefer to keep him because of his youth and upside. It has been so difficult to keep a RB healthy for an entire season though.

  • dgh57

    I pretty much agree on everything except RB and the PS.

    Batch didn’t play much last season(when he did he didn’t produce much with a 2.0 avg.) even though he was healthy and we had injuries at RB, so I see him as the odd man out. We needed 3 RBs in Mendy, Dwyer, and Redman last year so probably this year also. So Bell takes the place of Mendy. I can see J.D. Woods making the PS instead of Moye

  • dennisdoubleday

    I think Burress makes the team–he gives us something Gilreath doesn’t–a guy who MUST be doubled in the red zone. Other than that, it looks about right.

  • steeltown

    I agree with this final roster prediction

    The only change I have is I would keep Dwyer instead of Redman

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Lots of good camp battles this year. It should be a fun camp.

    RB: Batch, Dwyer, Redman, and McNeal are all battling for 2 spots IMO.

    WR: Does Plaxico bring enough to the table to make the team? He is in a battle for 1 open spot with Dunn and Gilreath unless Cotchery is in play which I don’t think he is.

    OL: I think the starters are pretty well set as is Beachum, but that still leaves 3 spots between a BUNCH of guys.

    NT: How many do we keep? 2 or 3? Ta’amu or Fangupo or both?

    ILB: While the starters here are set, Sylvester, Williams, and McFadden are battling for 2 spots. This will be a good one IMO.

    CB: Brown must earn his spot. Victorian and Van Dyke also want a crack at the roster. IMO, those 3 are battling for 1 or 2 spots depending upon what they do on the DLine as Dave notes.

    Basically it is down to maybe 10-11 spots on this roster. Have it out boys!!

  • Bradys_Dad

    We aren’t going to realize what a BIG loss Doug Legursky is/was until Pouncey goes down again. Take a good look at the early “projected” line assignments (Steelers 2013 53 Man Roster Prediction – Post OTA Practices 6/10/13) Feeling comfortable now? The way our OL has been accumulating injuries year after year there was no one more dependable than Lego and his 5 years of experience as a back up. This was a role he was totally comfortable with and embraced. He was a real Steeler. The front office continues it’s practice of being penny wise and pound foolish. …… Guy Whimper …. really ? WTF.

  • burgland6

    Omar Hunter will fight Ta’Amu for the back up NT spot, at worst a spot on the ps. I think van dyke beats out victorian for da 6th cb spot. Victorian to ps. Gilreath will really have a fight on his hands to beat out plax, brown, moye n woods, but I think they keep 6 wrs, findin a way to keep dunn on the team

  • Steve

    Legs was a so/so center, but that was it, he could not play guard or tackle.
    That is why they moved Pouncy to guard. We wish him well as he shuffled
    off to Buffalo. Batch, Dwyer and Redman will duke it out in preseason as will Gilreath, Cotchery and Plex for A spot.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Hi Steve,
    Let’s say I drop any argument regarding Lego’s skills. Care to explain Guy Whimper ? Yikes !!!! He makes Lego look like a first ballot inductee.

  • Shea Fahr

    Whimper is a cheap Vet Tackle body for camp and absolutely NO lock to make the Roster. I would not be surprised to see them bring in another Vet Olineman before Training Camp. Steve was spot on about Legs as well.

  • Steve

    I like Embernasty – he looks like a beast. Someone put the wip to him and he is ready for a FIGHT!

  • steeltown

    Im not so sure Whimper even makes the final roster.. Beachum was kicked out to play 1st Team RT in camp when Adams was out and Joe Long has been shifting sides back n forth with the 2nd Team. We know that Foster and Beachum can both kick out and backup RT and Adams and Gilbert will most likely back eachother up at LT
    I agree with Bryans prediction, I think Joe Long will beat out Whimper for that remaining backup swing OT spot (mainly because Long has room for growth, while Whimper has shown his ceiling)

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I dunno why but i have a feeling we will try to keep a tall wide receiver on the 53 man roster whether it’s Plax, J Brown or someone else

  • CW

    Only issue there is Dwyer hit OTAs weighing a lot more than he did last season.

  • Chris Ranieri


  • Kevin Gobleck

    lets hope it’s muscle ahahaha


    Johnson’s just as good or better TE than Poulson and he gives us more flexibility if Will gets injured, if Poulson is PS eligible, that would be my move.

  • CW

    Good joke….

    But sadly no.

  • steeltown

    Actually those reports are unsubstantiated, also in the more recent OTA photos he appears to be in shape, regardless training camp and preseason are long way off
    Redman is nearing 30yrs old and has chronic ankle problems

  • steeltown

    Would be nice… I like the fact that Gilreath can return kicks, but we should have a tall WR on the active roster in that #5 spot (especially because I think we should have Stephens-Howling and Emmanuel Sanders return kicks/punts)

  • Matt Searls

    Who would u take out for him? Gilreath?

  • Guest

    good selection wonder if the steelers would consder giving jarmarcus russell a shot at backup QB

  • dgh57

    We can always put Dunn on the Practice Squad. Gilreath I’m with Dave on that he beats out Plax for the last WR spot. Besides, he knows the playbook and it may be his time to produce.

  • Robert Alaniz

    I like most of the picks however, I don’t see Batch making this squad especially over Dwyer.

    The Steelers really did their homework on udfa’s on the O-line and if Golic Jr is one of the least talented out of them? We are going to be in surprisingly but good shape.

  • Anthony G

    That’s a tough one. DJ is currently listed as a tight end. I’ve always viewed him as a better blocker than receiver. I don’t think he unseats Paulson, who looks to be the best receiving tight end behind Miller. If not for the Spaeth signing, I could easily see him being the third tight end. Considering the Steelers carried four tight ends in the past, I see the roster shaking up as follows:

    – Heath Miller
    – David Paulson
    – Matt Spaeth
    – David Johnson
    – Jamie McCoy (only if / while Miller is out)

    I think they use a combination of Miller and Johnson in short yardage situations. I doubt they sub DJ for WJ in short yardage, primarily because WJ is a legitimate threat out of the backfield and provides many more options to keep the D guessing.

  • Anthony G

    I think Dunn is a better option than Gilreath. I don’t see Gilreath ever being more than a fifth WR / ST guy. There are no exceptional skills there. Dunn, on the other hand has potential to be an extremely dangerous ST guy, including taking kickoffs, punts (which he needs to improve on apparently), and as a gunner. He also can be a VERY dangerous slot receiver if he can pick up his game a little there.

    I guess that’s a long way of saying that Dunn has a much higher ceiling than Gilreath.

  • dgh57

    The best I’ve heard of Dunn is he’s a great KO return guy and that he’s fast! That’s fine, but he’ll have to do more than that to make our roster. The preseason will determine all we need to know about Mr. Dunn. I feel he’s to raw and needs a lot of work considering he only caught 31 passes & returned only 1 punt, not in 1 season but in his entire College career. Therefore, unless Dunn somehow miraculously blows us away this preseason he needs to HONE his skills on the PS his 1st season! I favor both Gilreath & J D Woods at this time over Dunn because they’re more seasoned as WRs and can play ST.

  • Anthony G

    I see what you’re saying. Of course, there’s no way to know who’s “correct”. You seem to be leaning toward the guy who may be more reliable day one, but I’m leaning more toward the guy who has greater potential to light it up. Who knows which way the Steelers are leaning (if at all, at this point).

    I think Gilreath is a decent receiver and have no arguments against him making somebody’s roster, but your fifth WR rarely makes a meaningful impact on a game, while an explosive returner could change your season.

    Of course, this only applies if Dunn can show the same ability in the NFL that he did in college. Like you were getting at, we’ll have to wait until preseason to find out for sure.