Steelers 2013 53 Man Roster Prediction – Post Preseason Game 1 Edition

The Pittsburgh Steelers now have their first preseason game behind them, so it is now time for my fourth 53 man roster prediction for the 2013 season.

If you missed my first three 53 man roster predictions following the draft, OTA practices and pre training camp 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

  • I just can\’t see them giving up on Jones this soon regardless of how much better John Parker Wilson might look.

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

  • Yes, crucify me in the comments, but if Danny Smith has control of the final few roster spots, I can still see him wanting to keep Batch over Jonathan Dwyer for special teams purposes. I have a few weeks to change my mind, so spew your hate carefully in the comments.

Fullbacks: (1) Will Johnson

  • Why even play Johnson anymore during the preseson at this point? Put him in bubble wrap right now.

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

  • One man\’s misfortune or circumstance is another mans opportunity. I hate it for Plaxico Burress, but he wasn\’t a lock anyway.

Tight Ends: (4) Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, David Paulson, Michael Palmer

  • If you believe the latest reports, Miller won\’t be going on Reserve PUP and Spaeth won\’t be put on injured reserve. If that winds up happening, Palmer or a tight end yet to be waived by another team will likely be the fourth tight end until somebody else is healthy. I\’m not sure David Johnson is the answer. He has a lot of ground to make up when he comes off the PUP list.

Offensive Line: (8) Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Mike Adams, Marcus Gilbert, Kelvin Beachum, John Malecki, Guy Whimper

  • Carrying an extra tight end means another position must suffer. Mike Tomlin normally only likes to dress seven offensive linemen on game days, but could dress eight until being as he very well might two tight ends inactive for a while.

Defense: (25)

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

  • Hopefully Ta\’amu keeps progressing.

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 until both tight ends are healthy.

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

  • As long as Sylvester can stay healthy, I think he is lock now. The same goes for Carter. I had to say goodbye to Adrian Robinson in order to make the numbers work.

Cornerbacks: (5) Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Curtis Brown, Josh Victorian

  • Victorian is healthy and DeMarcus Van Dyke isn\’t. They can carry five cornerbacks being as a few of the safeties can play the nickel in case of emergency.

Safeties: (5) Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Robert Golden, Da\’Mon Cromartie-Smith, Shamarko Thomas

  • Yes, Cromartie-Smith is playing with fire after allowing a blocked punt, but Thomas will need time to learn the safety positions.

Special Teams: (3)

Kicker: (1) Shaun Suisham

  • This is an easy call.

Punter: (1) Drew Butler

  • Brian Moorman is pushing, but I still have Butler as the leader.

Long Snapper: (1) Greg Warren

  • So much for my Luke Ingram prediction. Warren snapped him right out of Pittsburgh before the battle even started. If you see Warren, apologize to him for me.

Practice Squad: (8) Nick Williams, Terry Hawthorne, Joe Long, Mike Golic Jr., Alan Baxter, Alvester Alexander, J.D. Woods, Nathan Overbay

  • Williams is a project. Long and Golic Jr. make sense. Woods stepped up and showed great hands. Baxter is here because Robinson was active for too many games as a rookie. Alexander is here because they need an extra practice running back and Overbay is here until he\’s not.
76Adams, MikeT
20Batch, BaronRB
68Beachum, KelvinT/G
26Bell, Le\’VeonRB
84Brown, AntonioWR
15Brown, JustinWR
89Cotchery, JerrichoWR
66DeCastro, DavidG
73Foster, RamonG
77Gilbert, MarcusT
5Gradkowski, BruceQB
46Johnson, WillFB
3Jones, LandryQB
62Malecki, JohnG/C
83Miller, HeathTE
49Palmer, MichaelTE
81Paulson, DavidTE
53Pouncey, MaurkiceC
33Redman, IsaacRB
7Roethlisberger, BenQB
88Sanders, EmmanuelWR
87Spaeth, MattTE
34Stephens-Howling, LaRodRB
11Wheaton, MarkusWR
61Whimper, GuyT
28Allen, CortezCB
31Brown, CurtisCB
54Carter, ChrisOLB
25Clark, RyanS
42Cromartie-Smith, DaMonS
50Foote, LarryLB
22Gay, WilliamCB
21Golden, RobertS
97Heyward, CameronDE
96Hood, ZiggyDE
95Jones, JarvisOLB
99Keisel, BrettDE
40McFadden, MarshallILB
90McLendon, SteveNT
43Polamalu, TroyS
55Sylvester, StevensonILB
74Ta\’amu, AlamedaNT
24Taylor, IkeCB
29Thomas, ShamarkoS
94Timmons, LawrenceILB
35Victorian, JoshCB
44Williams, VinceILB
56Woodley, LaMarrOLB
65Woods, AlDE
93Worilds, JasonOLB
9Butler, DrewP
6Suisham, ShaunK
60Warren, GregLS
51Spence, SeanILB
80Burress, PlaxicoWR
*McNeal, CurtisRB
*Embernate, NikG
?Cheadle, JustinG
39Alexander, AlvesterRB
45Baxter, AlanOLB
67Golic, Jr., MikeG
30Hawthorne, TerryCB
79Long, JoeT
48Overbay, NathanTE
91Williams, NicholasDE
17Woods, J.D.WR

  • Jason Brant

    A good prediction.

    I hope they keep Robinson over Carter though. Robinson seems to have significantly more upside.

  • Mike

    I think D.J Johnson is a lock to make this team. And i think only 9 DB’s are kept allowing an open spot for “luxury” and i think that goes to Reggie Dunn. A kickoff returner can win you a game, Damon Cromartie-Smith can’t. But, I would agree with about 49-50 of those roster spots on here.

  • steeltown

    I agree with most of this…

    Not sure why you keep C.Carter over A.Robinson.. I think Worilds can slide over and cover LOLB if Woodley goes down, then Sly behind him if needed, making C.Carter expendable

    Pending any injuries over the course of the next few weeks, I would consider Spaeth as my injured reserve with designation guy.. thus opening a roster spot up for another WR, DE or CB (JD Woods, Nicholas Williams or Hawthorne) I would then try and stash Arnfelt on the PS with that extra PS spot

    If you notice, Dwyer was given more snaps on special teams than B.Batch Saturday night.. I think Coach Smith is giving Dwyer every chance to earn that 4th spot with his special teams play

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I think you have pretty clearly identified the last roster spots being fought for.

    The last OLB between Carter and Robinson. That one will be a tough choice. It may come down to potential more than anything else as neither really has helped on special teams.

    The 5th CB position between Hawthorne and everyone else. This kid can still make the team as he is no longer in the tub.

    Arnfelt I think makes the Practice Squad at someone else’s expense.

  • paltel

    Howlings is a more than solid kick returner, so I don’t see Dunn making it unless he can show something as a receiver.

  • paltel

    I’d give Robinson the edge versus Carter based on the later not being able to stay healthy for an extended period of time.

  • Marcus

    I think they give Hawthorne a chance over Curtis Brown.

  • paltel

    It looks like some solid educated guesses to me. I would hope that they’d IR Spaeth to save a spot for some other position, perhaps finding room for an extra WR or perhaps Van Dyke that runs like a scalded dog. I still have hope for the CB at this point as I think they stashed him on the 53 man roster in 2012 for a reason.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    That seems to be close to what I feel. I have the same changes most others have..Carter vs Robinson is up in the air, Redman vs Dwyer vs Batch is the other and finally I think the TE spot will not be that however I guess where we are at giving this moment that would how it would be IMO but that will not be the final for the roster.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Dunn has to make us talk about him like everyone has talked about Woods this last week. a 19 yd PR and 1 catch for 7 or 8 yds will not make the roster. I want to see him break out too but he hasnt done enough as of yet.

  • stigs007

    Not sure if I see Carter making it, wouldn’t mind going with a young guy. You really think they’ll cut Hawthorne even though he hasn’t got a complete camp in?

  • Mike

    I just think we have very little talent towards the bottom of our overall roster to give it to a 9th lineman, or a 10th DB. Dunn, hasn’t shown much that is correct. I just think a guy such as Dunn can win a game or 2 on his own this year with a kick off/punt return. Fangupo, DCS, Carter, etc… will not add wins or losses to this team.

    Granted, i am mostly assuming Dunn will show something in camp or pre-season game to warrant this. So, i totally get the disagreements. I only see the D keeping 24 spots. 6- DL, 9 LB’s, and 9DB’s. 26 spots go to offense.

  • Bell Cow

    That offensive line and tight end depth is scary. Lets pray we can stay healthy at those positions. Other than that, it appears to be a solid roster.

  • Jeff Horowitz

    Can they use the same IR designation they used for DeCastro last year. That would free up a roster spot for another LB.

  • Milliken Steeler

    I like the list Dave except for just maybe two things, which is pretty good considering all of the options:)

    I understand your point on special teams however, batch hasn’t shown me anything. As soon as Dwyer starts ripping off ten yard runs again, I think Batch is done for. I will admit he wasted an opportunity against the G-men even though LSH received most of the first team carries.

    I think Hawthorne makes the squad. Before he got hurt, Carnell said he has size and speed and he only saw some things in techniques he was gonna work him on. He got hurt but I think he is back in time to show what he has and I have a feeling he makes the 53.

    My last one is Mr Arnfeldt. That man is a PS lock unless his legs fall off all of a sudden. He has a motor, looked very nice against the Giants and posses NFL quality strength already. Big upside to this guy.

    I give you an A minus on your list though. Very nice:)

  • JohnnyV1

    I don’t see 9 LB’s and 10 DB’s. I see a 7 man DE/NT group and 6 WR’s, particularly w/ TE position not counting a lot in the passing game early on. TE is too close to call right now as all the info isn’t in on where Miller & Spaeth will be in 3 more weeks. I don’t think they can carry two TE’s (Miller & Spaeth) on the active roster for 3-4 weeks into the season.

    I see a RB & OLine being on the practice squad or final roster not currently in camp.

  • Jeff Horowitz

    Use the IR designation for Matt Spaeth.

  • steeltown

    Agreed.. If no other starter is injured (god forbid) then yes

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Here are the reasons the Steelers would be (I think) better served to keep Dwyer over Batch.

    1) Dwyer is your best all-around backup to Bell. LSH has better speed and cutting ability (and I love what he can bring to this offense), but he is not an every down back that you can run until the wheels come off. He’s simply not built for that.

    2) Dwyer is a much better pass blocker. Given the question marks on our O-line and the health issues at TE, we are going to need our RBs to protect Ben on 3rd downs. Bell is still learning (plus, he’s your #1), Batch is only “meh” in this role, LSH is undersized, and that leaves only Redman.

    Keeping Batch only because of his special teams play seems like a waste to me. If the Steelers keep four RBs, I give the nod to Dwyer.

  • Lamarr56

    Why not Hawthorne, is he still injured?

  • Jason Brant

    I also believe that DJ and Hawthorne will make the roster.

  • dgh57

    I would hold off on giving Spaeth the IR with Designation tag until all preseason games have been played. You never know when a starter might go down with a more serious injury(like DeCastro last year). Spaeths’ injury is a 8-10 week recovery time and most of that is being eaten up by the preseason.

  • dgh57

    I don’t see us putting Spaeth on IR to miss the whole season when his injury has a 8-10 week recovery time much of which is being eaten up by the preseason. He should be able to return after the bye week as that would just about cover the 8-10 weeks.

  • steeltown

    Of course, that’s why I mentioned “pending any injuries”… but we’re most likely still talking about the end of October before he returns to full strength …I would strongly consider it, pending

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Is that half-season IR only good for one player?

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Gotta agree with everything you said including the grade. Folks forget that the last 8 spots are inactive, so that means RB#4 doesn’t get to dress week one but is used the next week as soon as someone gets hurt. This totally favors Dwyer since he can run and Batch can’t and neither guy will be used on ST in week 1.

    Heath is definitely a guess at this point, makes sense to save him a spot if he might be able to play sooner than week 6, he’s worth it. Spaeth…NOT.

    Hawthorne’s upside is well worth a #5 pick and a year on the 53, just inactive until he’s ready to contribute which may be next year…or next week if more CB go down.

    Hood and Kiesel may be gone next year, Arnfeldt or Williams would a bit of insurance for then, the #7 D-lineman never is active so it’s just a protected practice squad spot anyhow.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Not to mention if Redman, Bell and LSH are healthy and active, #4 RB likely doesn’t dress so the ST contribution is zero. Dwyer is starting RB insurance, Batch is a nice story and I wish him well in his future endeavors.

  • Shieldzy

    I think this is pretty well done. I think you got QBs and DLine spot on as there is very little room for debate at either spot. WRs I believe will be a battle between Brown, Moye and Woods and I agree that they select Brown. I don’t think that they will carry DJ because he is an injury risk and to add him to an already injured group of TEs would not be smart. As far as OLine goes, I’d like to see someone replace Whimper but unfortunately, I think you might be right that he makes it. I’m not sure that DCS will make it. I think you got the CBs right. As for the LBs, I definitely think they keep Robinson over Carter as Carter has shown nothing and Robinson has shown some potential. And I side with you at the RB spot. I think Batch holds a lot more value as far as special teams and blocking ability than does Dwyer. I wish there was a way to keep 5 but if they keep four, Dwyer is the odd man out as he is too similar to Redman and Bell.

  • Luke Shabro

    Carter has shown nothing except that he must be a VIP in the training room. I don’t want him on the 53, I want Robinson

  • steeltown player can be placed on designation to return IR

  • Shieldzy

    I definitely disagree. Dwyer is in no way the better all-around back. Redman will be backup to bell. LSH will be the change of pace and Batch will be ST and blocking.

    You are definitely wrong that Dwyer is a better pass blocker. Batch actually made an impact blocking in the preseason game whereas Dwyer made none. Plus, Dave did a whole article last year on Batch’s blocking with multiple examples despite a very low rep count. Also, Batch is probably a better pass catcher as well. Yeah, he had a drop last year but Dwyer had two drops just last game.

    I’d also like to see Batch run behind a line other than the third team. Every time he ran, there were no holes so its not like he misses glaring holes which Dave actually did an article on a big hole that Dwyer missed.

    I wish there was a way to keep 5 but I think Batch is much more valuable to the team with his special teams, blocking, and catching ability than Dwyer who would only be a 3rd string with little other value.

  • Luke Shabro

    And that doesn’t count for anyone injured prior to camp

  • Luke Shabro

    Does anyone in Steeler Nation want to see Carter over Robinson? Doubtful, but it’s not like Tomlin, Colbert and Co. are going to be making decisions based on fan input lol. Otherwise, William Gay would’ve never been brought back

  • Luke Shabro

    And I don’t care if I’m a broken record, the last guy I want to see on this roster (besides maybe Batiste) is Guy Whimper. No Whimper no cry

  • StrengthOfVictory

    They’ve both had drops. Pretty much a wash there. But you have to be kept primarily for skills at your position. And Batch is the weakest RB we have. Redman is more of a third-down and short-yardage specialist. We have plenty of options at pass-catching before EVER having to call Baron’s number. (See: Will Johnson) I just think Batch’s value has dropped to ZERO now that we’ve drafted a #1 RB.

  • steeltown

    Not to mention Coach Smith IS using Dwyer on special teams now and giving him every opportunity to contribute, Dwyer had more snaps on ST than Batch did on Saturday

  • dgh57

    I somehow missed you pending injuries comment. I’m not clear on whether Spaeths’ Lisfranc injury is a sprain, break, or tear. Depending on what it is he could be back by 1st game after the bye week or late Oct. like you said.

  • Eddy

    I’m curious to know who you would keep as the 7th DE/NT? Hebron Fangupo or Nick Williams?

    I’d much rather have C Carter, A Robinson or DCS than a 3rd string NT that will sit on the inactive list all year.

  • Shieldzy

    We have Bell as the most likely starter and Redman as the backup. If Dwyer were on the roster, he would not dress just so that he could be the third string RB and nothing else. Batch would dress, and has dressed, for special teams. Dwyer may have had more snaps but didn’t make an impact on them. Batch recorded a tackle and it was a very important tackle at that with less snaps on special teams.

  • Vipond

    I would prefer to see Robinson over Carter, but overall I think you did a good job.
    Who would have guessed that ILB would have so much talent going into this season.

  • Luke Shabro

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong but I believe they will have him on the PUP and then if he is unable to practice/be activated they can put him on IR. I believe…

  • treeher

    Gotta change faces from 8-8 team. Goodbye Carter, Dwyer (he’s being displayed as trade bait), and Cotch. I want to see them play JD and keep R Dunn. I hate to keep Whimper but don’t see much else there.

  • treeher

    Dunn won’t get much opportunity in the warm weather, but once it cools off and kicks don’t travel as far, he’ll be valuable in returns. I HATE to pass on a 4.22 guy.

  • JohnnyV1

    At this point, I would keep the best DE after the 4th preseason game. If that’s Williams, fine. If that’s Arnfelt, great. At NT – McLendon, Ta’amu. At DE – Keisel, Hood, Heyward. At DE/NT – Woods. We keep one more guy @ DE to play special teams and for 2014. Keisel played Special Teams as a rookie (wedge buster) and both Williams (4.84) and Arnfelt (4.83) have the speed to do that.
    My reason is this. DE Hood, Keisel and Woods are all FA’s after this season. Hood isn’t great and may get more money from a 4-3 team needing a tackle,Keisel will be 36 and Woods is now showing promise but not much experience. That leaves Heyward as the only DE under contract for 2014. We cannot count on drafting a starter in 2014 draft. We need guys @ DE for 2014.
    Subject: Re: New comment posted on Steelers 2013 53 Man Roster Prediction – Post Preseason Game 1 Edition

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Yeah, you’re wrong about Dwyer. No way Batch makes the team, but Dwyer seriously needs to work on his receiving game. I’m hoping Chris Carter doesn’t make it either. He makes absolutely zero impact when he’s out there, so I’d give Robinson the edge, but he’s not showing much either. The OLB battle is pretty bad right now. Giving Spaeth a roster spot for half a season is ridiculous. We’re not talking about Rod Woodson here. Give his spot to the Black Cat. Only other problem I have is you not giving any love to Brian Arnfelt. Don’t you read Marczi’s articles?

  • Mike

    You can’t cut Cotch – you need his leadership in the WR meeting room. Plus, he is a solid slot guy.

  • treeher

    That’s what everybody says about Cotch – conventional wisdom. I think his on field contributions have been minimal and Wheaton is capable of coming on fast. Bring in Hines Ward to coach these guys.

  • Mike

    I would have been more open to this if Plax did not get hurt. I just think you need a veteran guy in there. Granted, I don’t think he is really seeing the field much past week 6 or 7 when Wheaton really starts to come on. But, it is also possible that Plax sticks around to help the team and younger guys – which would be nice.

    Also – i don’t think brown, woods, moye, gilreath, shaw, etc…are better than cotch.

  • paltel

    It looks like they are going to do it your way, however that wouldnt be my choice as I dont believe he will be 100% in 8-10 weeks. He isnt an elite TE like Miller that could be major contributor at 80%, Spaeth is average at best when he is healthy and 80% of average just doesnt cut it in my view.

  • treeher

    I would have liked to see Stillers grab D Clark, with the bonus of keeping him away from the Dirty Birds. I agree with you about Spaeth, although he does have rep as one of the best blocking TEs. I don’t change my mind about Dwyer – don’t forget, they tried to unload him not long ago. Arnfelt – yes, I have read Marczi’s. But I’m not convinced, his performance was against 2nd and 3rd teamers and he got rolled a few times anyway.

  • treeher

    You’re right that Cotch will give way to Wheaton, plus he will be history in 2014. I’d hate to lose a young gun now just for 1/2 a season of performance and locker room presence.

  • Mike

    I think they keep 6 WR’s. They lack talent at other positions to keep them for depth purposes. When teams get down to the last few roster spots, they rank them 1-90. Why keep a 9th lineman or 10th DB when they may rank as your 80th best player, but you won’t keep a 6th WR because you only want 5, when that guy could be your 55th best player? Know what i mean?

  • treeher

    Excellent point. By the way, Sanders (26) and A Brown (25) aren’t kids anymore … time for them to step up the leadership. They played with Ward and other SB crowd. Brown alluded to that in a recent interview.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Yeah I just meant the PS for Arnfelt. At least give him a mention. As for Dwyer, there’s no way Batch makes it over him. I don’t see special teams as the deciding factor, because I’d still see Batch as being inactive for gameday.

  • treeher

    I want to say you guys are right about Dwyer because I do like him. But I think Bell makes him expendable and the team could get compensation for him. You gotta look at special teams, they’re the biggest weakness and have been last couple of years (notwithstanding O line).

  • Matthew Marczi

    As far as the 53-man roster goes, the only place that I disagree is with Batch over Dwyer, because I think Danny Smith wants to make Dwyer a contributor on special teams this year.

    On the practice squad, I just can’t say goodbye to Brian Arnfelt. It’s possible that they keep both on the squad until Heath is ready to play and then they promote Arnfelt after releasing Palmer. But of course a lot can happen between now and then, including Arnfelt playing like garbage. I guess he just left a big impression on me.

  • dgh57

    They might still add Spaeth to the IR Designated to Return List but not the the regular IR. Spaeth was signed for his run blocking and Paulson will have to take care of the pass catching side of things. So you might say we have a #2 TE being taken care of by 2 players. Having Spaeth is needed if we’re to ever get our running game going.

  • Pete

    I would not believe it if Batch was retained over Dwyer. There’s no way I’d give up Dwyer for Batch.

  • Ahmad

    At this point I still want Robinson over Carter. Also, I see you have Brian Rolle and Kion Wilson not making the roster or the practice squad. If those two keep playing with the same intensity they did in the 1st game, it’s gonna make it terribly hard to keep them off the roster. I still say that if Rolle continues to play well and Sylvester doesn’t improve, Sylvester is gone, even if he knows all 4 LB spots.

  • paltel

    I get the purpose of Spaeth. I just don’t believe that in 8-10 weeks you get back same player as before the injury/surgery. And I sure don’t like the idea of using two roster spots on non-playing recovering TEs. I’d bite the bullet on Miller, but not Spaeth.

  • dgh57

    Players come back from worse injuries than what Spaeth has and play just fine on their return. I don’t care much for the injuries(and roster spots taken by Spaeth) we have at TE either but putting Spaeth on the IR Designation to Return List is probably the worst that’s going to happen to Spaeth.

  • Dan

    I believe David Johnson will come back to take a roster spot, either TE or FB. Kinda bummer about Dwyer, but you’re probably right assuming Batch does well at pass protection and special teams from here on out.
    Agree Landry over Wilson at QB. Didn’t seem like Wilson has any ability to avoid a pass rush.
    Do we normally keep 9 LBs? I would think we keep more DLs as they need substituted out more often, but I suppose this is special teams influence as well.

  • treeher

    Exactly. And he had zero impact on special teams

  • treeher

    Agree completely. Bell’s success (we hope!) makes Dwyer expendable. Batch is special teams superstar and Dwyer will not unseat him there.

  • treeher

    Plus, Sanders and A Brown ain’t kids anymore – time for them to step up and show leadership. AB alluded to this in an interview.

  • steeltown

    Some of his snaps are on the (new age) wedge units in the return game… that wont appear on any stat sheet

  • JD

    Sorry Dave, but Robinson over Carter, and there is no way David Johnson doesn’t make it…

  • Matt

    I agree with you Ahmad. If sylvester doesn’t show much improvement than possibly keep Rolle but definitely not Wilson