With the 2014 NFL Draft now behind us, it’s time for my first offseason 53 man roster prediction for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all of these right, but this is where my head is at after the selection of nine players by the Steelers over the course of the weekend.
In the comments below, tell me the selections you disagree with and which player makes it instead. How many of these 53 are locks?
As you can see, there are several roster spots that are wide open.
Quarterbacks (3) – Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones
Analysis: This group is pretty easy to nail down.
Running Backs (3) – Le’Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount, Dri Archer
Analysis: These three are givens. Can Alvester Alexander show he is special teams worthy enough to become a fourth?
Fullbacks (1) – Will Johnson
Analysis: Hard to bet against Johnson right now.
Wide Receivers (5) – Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Martavis Bryant
Analysis: Four of these five seem to be set. Can Derek Moye beat out Heyward-Bey on special teams?
Tight Ends (4) – Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, Michael Palmer, Rob Blanchflower
Analysis: Is this the end for David Paulson? Blanchflower needs to show he can stay healthy and can contribute on special teams.
Offensive Line (9) – Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert, Mike Adams, Kelvin Beachum, Cody Wallace, Nik Embernate, Guy Whimper
Analysis: Wesley Johnson has to show that Whimper is expendable. Embernate has to show that he is healthy and can play both guard spots. Seven of these nine appear to be locks.
Defensive Lineman (6) – Steve McLendon, Cameron Heyward, Cam Thomas, Stephon Tuitt, Nick Williams, Hebron Fangupo
Analysis: Will a seventh be kept? Can Daniel McCullers show enough to make Fangupo expendable? What about Brian Arnfelt? Four of these players are locks and there is a lot of uncertainty past them.
Inside Linebackers (4) – Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams, Jordan Zumwalt
Analysis: Can Sean Spence make it back? Moats can serve as a backup inside guy.
Outside Linebackers (5) – Jarvis Jones, Jason Worilds, Chris Carter, Arthur Moats, James Harrison
Analysis: Yeah, I went there with Harrison for now. Where will the depth come from? Even if Zumwalt can play some outside, you really have to wonder about the depth past Jones and Worilds. This is scary. If they don’t sign Harrison, could another currently unsigned free agent with experience be added? Can Joey Porter still play? (kidding)
Cornerbacks (6) – Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Brice McCain, Shaquille Richardson, Antwon Blake
Analysis: Hopefully Richardson makes it. As far as Blake goes, he’s a great special teams player that can probably also play some safety. Can Robert Golden beat him out? Will both he and Blake make it?
Safeties (4) – Troy Polamalu, Mike Mitchell, Shamarko Thomas, Will Allen
Analysis: Mike Tomlin loves Allen. Will that love last one more year? Thomas also can function as a slot dime back. Golden is a big wildcard here.
Kicker (1) – Shaun Suisham
Analysis: Duh, for now!
Punter (1) – Brad Wing
Analysis: Wing has to beat out his demons and veteran Adam Podlesh.
Long Snapper (1) – Greg Warren
Analysis: I bet against Warren last year and I won’t do it again.
2014 Steelers 53 Man Roster Prediction Post Draft