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.
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.
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.
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.
|23||Van Dyke, DeMarcus||CB|
|67||Golic, Jr., Mike||T/G|