Steelers 2013 53 Man Roster Prediction – Training Camp Edition

The Pittsburgh Steelers report to Latrobe to training camp today, so it is now time for my third 53 man roster prediction for the 2013 season.

If you missed my first two 53 man roster predictions following the draft and the OTA practices, you can view them by following the links provided.

As I do every year, I will have a new prediction after each and every preseason game leading up to my final 53 man roster prediction which will be released right before the final round of cuts take place.

Feel free to list your prediction below in the comments below.

Offense: (25)

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

  • There has never been a question all offseason as to what the quarterback depth chart will look like this year.

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

  • I still have Jonathan Dwyer as the odd man out should the Steelers only keep four running backs. Batch is fighting for his life in training camp and the preseason and must show that he can run inside better than he did last year and should be good again on special teams. Stephens-Howling needs to win the kickoff return job in order to make the roster and I think he will do just that. He can also play on all three downs in case of an emergency.

Fullbacks: (1) Will Johnson

  • Johnson could catch 25 plus balls in 2013 and he should be an even better blocker than he was last season.

Wide Receivers: (5) Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery, Markus Wheaton, Plaxico Burress

  • Until one of the young receivers take the last spot away from Burress, I have no choice but to give the veteran the nod. If Justin Brown can win the punt return job, Burress might find himself released during the final cut down.

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

  • Can Miller at least have himself ready by Week 3? If so, there will be no need to place him on the Reserve PUP list. If he needs more time than that, David Johnson would more than likely grab the third spot until Miller is activated later on in the season.

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

  • I really hope that either Joe Long or Mike Golic Jr. can beat out Whimper for the backup tackle spot, but I have a feeling that offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. thinks more of the veteran than the rest of us do.

Defense: (25)

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

  • Should McLendon go down with an injury, the Steelers almost certainly will need to call Casey Hampton, assuming he is still unemployed.

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

  • Woods got work as the backup nose tackle during the offseason, so the Steelers seem certain to carry only six defensive linemen in total with perhaps two more on the practice squad.

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

  • Can McFadden knock Stevenson Sylvester off the roster? If he doesn\’t, he will be back on the practice squad. There is no reason to think that both Carter and Robinson won\’t make the final 53.

Cornerbacks: (6) Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Curtis Brown, Terry Hawthorne, DeMarcus Van Dyke

  • I\’m interested in seeing Van Dyke finally getting to play on defense during the preseason. I don\’t think the coaching staff is quite ready to give up on him just yet.

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

  • The only way that the Steelers keep five safeties is if Da\’Mon Cromartie-Smith plays lights out during the preseason in the secondary and on special teams.

Special Teams: (3)

Kicker: (1) Shaun Suisham

  • This is an easy call.

Punter: (1) Drew Butler

  • Brian Moorman was brought in to push Butler and he\’ll do just that, but in the end I think the Steelers stay with the younger player.

Long Snapper: (1) Luke Ingram

  • I Still think that Ingram has a pretty good shot at unseating veteran Greg Warren this year, but he has to perfect just like he was in college in order to do it.

Practice Squad: (8) Nick Williams, Hebron Fangupo, Joe Long, Mike Golic Jr., Josh Victorian, Curtis McNeal, Justin Brown, Ross Ventrone

  • I think that Ventrone just might have a year of practice squad eligibility left based on the amount of games that he was active for in 2011. The Steelers need an extra safety on the practice squad and being as Cromartie-Smith is out of eligibility, you would have to think that Ventrone would be the guy.
76Adams, MikeT
20Batch, BaronRB
68Beachum, KelvinT/G/C
26Bell, Le\’VeonRB
84Brown, AntonioWR/PR
80Burress, PlaxicoWR
89Cotchery, JerrichoWR
66DeCastro, DavidG
51Embernate, NikG
73Foster, RamonG/T
77Gilbert, MarcusT
5Gradkowski, BruceQB
46Johnson, WillFB
3Jones, LandryQB
62Malecki, JohnG/C
83Miller, HeathTE
81Paulson, DavidTE
53Pouncey, MaurkiceC
33Redman, IsaacRB
7Roethlisberger, BenQB
88Sanders, EmmanuelWR
87Spaeth, MattTE
34Stephens-Howling, LaRodRB/KR
11Wheaton, MarkusWR
61Whimper, GuyT
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
23Van Dyke, DeMarcusCB
44Williams, VinceILB
56Woodley, LaMarrOLB
65Woods, AlDE
93Worilds, JasonOLB
9Butler, DrewP
48Ingram, LukeLS
6Suisham, ShaunK
15Brown, JustinWR
92Fangupo, HebronNT
67Golic, Jr., MikeT/G
79Long, JoeT
39McNeal, CurtisRB
41Ventrone, RossS
35Victorian, JoshCB
91Williams, NicholasDE
51Spence, SeanLB

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I like embernate and golic jr to make the roster

  • Eric Grushkin

    The biggest problem with your roster choices is you do not have a punt returner. The only returners that aren’t starters are Justin Brown and David Gilreath. Plax may need to go.
    I am with the crowd against Whimper, but there may be too much youth on the line without him.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I could see the 5th WR or 9th OL coming from another roster.

  • BurgherinMD

    I would not count out Josh Victorian…he has some experience…took some knocks but I think can rebound.

  • Austin Jackson

    You have Nick Williams twice on the practice squad in the write-up

  • steeltown

    I like this roster, for the most part I agree. Im not giving up on Dwyer just yet like most have and I think they may only carry 8OL especially if they keep 2OL on the PS if thats the case add possibly another WR, one of the young guys that can return punts (J.Brown or Gilreath) and if J.Brown makes the roster than I’d put either JD Woods or Terence Garvin in his place on the PS

  • Milliken Steeler

    Nice picks and I agree with 85 to 90% of this I would say but…..

    I think Batch and Plax are gone. Unless Dwyer has not been in Florida pushing himself and comes in out of shape….again. There is no way Baron Batch and his 2.0 ypc stays while Dwyer leaves. He has to much talent, is quick and nimble for a big back and is still young. You just don’t give that kind of talent away. Despite an injured and thus except for a few games a horrific line to run behind, there were times he ran effortlessly for 5 to 10 yard pops at a time. In spite of not being in proper shape. LSH’s arrival equals Batches fate X2.

    Whether its Moye,Woods or Brown, I don’t believe you waste a spot on Plax at his age and his less than stellar work ethic.If one of these youngs guys performs or shows potential, I would use the last spot for one of them. Red Zone target? Enter Haley’s 2 TE sets and 6’7″ Matt Spaeth. Matt is a redzone target who has also improved his blocking tremendously.

  • Ahmad

    If DCS makes the roster, I think the Steelers keep 5 CB’s and 5 S’s with Golden being able to play both positions. That would put Hawthorne on the PS.

    Unless Embernate balls out, I don’t think the Steelers will keep 9 OL. IMO Embernate goes to the PS and the Steelers use the extra roster spot for WR David Gilreath.

  • Brendon Glad

    Well…you usually are pretty spot-on on this one. But unless Curtis Brown has hit a similar “may need to find your life’s work” moment that Keenan Lewis had in year 3, then everything I’ve seen says Josh Victorian is the better player. And so I have to think Victorian beats Brown out, out-right.
    I also think Dwyer should beat out Baron Batch if that’s who he is battling. But there have been a few “shoulds” on Dwyer which he has failed at. So we shall see. In fact, all y’all who are at camp will probably tell me a whole lot more about Dwyer’s chances after the conditioning test. That whole RB battle should be quite fun.
    I also think Sylvester will make it, and they will try to hide McFadden or Williams on the PS for awhile.
    Other than that, my guess is that you will nail it again.

  • steeltown

    I think Paulson could also become a redzone target, he showed he is capable of that in college

  • steeltown

    I sure hope they don’t try and stash Hawthorne on the PS.. but I agree with the 2nd part, as much as I would like to have 9OL on the active roster I could just as easily see them keeping 8OL (#7Malecki and #8Long/Whimper) and try and stash 2OL on the PS so that they can keep an extra WR with special teams skills…. of course if Embernate “balls out” then I hope he makes the 53man

  • Dorkewicz

    I just can’t see them getting rid of Curtis when they spent a 3rd round pick on him. I didn’t see enough out of Victorian to prove that he’s that much better honestly

  • Brendon Glad

    Usually, being a third round pick stops working for a player by year 3. At that point they need to make the team on their own merits. As of today, I have seen virtually no merits from Brown. The only time he ever catches my attention is when he is missing a block on special teams or committing a penalty on Special teams. So he definitely is no ace there.
    And as a cover guy, I specifically remember 3 different excellent plays Victorian made in the Pre-season 2012…and also a play which made the NFL Network top 10 plays of the week against Cincy.
    He had a rough first half against Dallas, that’s for sure…and it was an example of how his lack of size will always be an issue. But Steelers Nation has been desperate for some CB’s with good ball skills for years. He appears to have them. Unless Curtis Brown has grown by leaps and bounds, and Victorian becomes stagnant, I will be pretty disappointed if they pick Brown over Victorian…
    But, of course, I certainly hope both play very well so it’s a gut-wrenching decision by the staff.

  • Adam Banig

    I don’t think DeMarcus VanDyke makes it. I’d rather have Hebron Fangupo for some beef up front or possibly another WR like David Gilreath.

  • Adam Banig

    LaRod Stephen-Howling. Markus Wheaton and Antonio Brown can return

  • Adam Banig

    I think Plax Makes it, but I agree about Batch. I think he’s a gonner this yearand they’d keep Dwyer

  • Adam Banig

    I read somewhere that Curtis Brown led the team in special teams tackles last year. He has the talent to be a contributor on defense as well. I think he plays better this preseason and may even beat out William Gay for the #3 spot. Brown was slowed down from his knee injury

  • Eric Grushkin

    @Adam, LSH has no punt return experience. Wheaton only returned 2 punt as a senior in college and AB is a starter, so we wouldn’t want him fielding punts.