Steelers 2014 Perceived Roster Locks Post Draft

I’ve already done my first 53 man roster prediction for the 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers and now I think it’s a good time to debate the players that should be perceived as being locks to make the final roster baring injury.

Below, I have 41 players that I deem locks and I will now defend a few that might be debated in the comments below.

Chris Carter – You should know by now that I am not the president of the Carter fan club, but due to the lack of depth at the outside linebacker position, I just can’t see the Steelers cutting bait with him this year. If you debate this below, please tell me who you have replacing him. Remember, there’s a good chance that Jarvis Jones and Jason Worilds won’t play every snap this season and outside of Arthur Moats, who really hasn’t played much outside linebacker in a 3-4 since coming into the league, there’s nobody else with experience.

Vince Williams – Sure, Ryan Shazier will start at some point and that will result in Lawrence Timmons sliding over to the buck position. At that point, Williams becomes the backup buck and I just don’t see him losing his roster spot. Should Sean Spence make it back, he is best suited to play the mack position.

Brice McCain – McCain’s experience and understanding of the 3-4 defense should result in him easily making the roster. He is best suited to play in the slot, but can play outside in case of emergency, God forbid.

Shaquille Richardson – The Steelers really have no choice but to stick with Richardson as long as possible due to all of their previous draft fails at the cornerback position. He should be able to lock up a spot easily on special teams in addition.

Martavis Bryant – Bryant is pretty much in the same boat as Richardson. Baring anything totally unexpected, he has to make the roster. Imagine the outrage if one of the top four draft picks in this year’s class gets cut out of camp. If memory serves me, Ryan McBean was the last player the Steelers drafted in the first four rounds that was released prior to the start of his first season. That was way back in 2007.

Will Johnson – Realistically, the argument could be made that Johnson is the most questionable listed player on this list. However, who is going to replace him?

Landry Jones – Imagine the outrage. Kevin Colbert made his bed with this fourth round pick in 2013 and as a result he has to sleep in it for at least one more year.

In total, I have five of the nine draft picks as being roster locks.

It’s your turn now to argue against any of these 41 players as being locks to make the final roster. In addition, let me know if there’s a player I left out that should be considered a lock.

Adams, MikeT
Allen, CortezCB
Archer, DriRB/WR
Beachum, KelvinT/G
Bell, Le’VeonRB
Blount, LeGarretteRB
Brown, AntonioWR
Bryant, MartavisWR
Carter, ChrisOLB
DeCastro, DavidG
Foster, RamonG
Gay, WilliamCB
Gilbert, MarcusT
Gradkowski, BruceQB
Heyward, CameronDE
Johnson, WillFB
Jones, JarvisOLB
Jones, LandryQB
McCain, BriceCB
McLendon, SteveNT
Miller, HeathTE
Mitchell, MikeS
Moats, ArthurOLB
Moore, LanceWR
Polamalu, TroyS
Pouncey, MaurkiceC
Richardson, ShaquilleCB
Roethlisberger, BenQB
Shazier, RyanILB
Spaeth, MattTE
Suisham, ShaunK
Taylor, IkeCB
Thomas, CamDE/NT
Thomas, ShamarkoS
Timmons, LawrenceILB
Tuitt, StephonDE
Wallace, CodyC/G
Warren, GregLS
Wheaton, MarkusWR
Williams, VinceILB
Worilds, JasonOLB
  • Steelers12328882

    Good grief, Chris Carter is a roster lock! Ughh!

  • Can we sign a banana peel?

  • Steelers12328882

    That actually might do a better job holding the edge than Carter.

  • Steel PAul

    I still wonder what they saw in Landry Jones. He seemed beyond very far away from ever playing in the little time I got to see of him last season.

    Has anyone heard even ONE GOOD REPORT on this guy yet?

    Sure hope he finds his way, but . . . man!

  • SteelersDepot

    My table never posted. OK, it’s up now.

  • HereWeGo

    only 2 TE’s? I know Johnson can play it but…….

  • Chad H

    I have 2 UDFA I think stand a good chance of making the roster. Ebernate and Howard Jones seems like a kid who will scrap out a roster spot. I will say Carter is gone, done goodbye.

  • SteelersDepot

    This is not the final 53. These are players that are projected as locks to make the final roster. Thus only 41 are listed.

  • steeltown

    Great college player, now entering his 2nd season. Its not like he was a 1st Rd selection or anything. Give the kid a chance. We ran with Dixon for years before cutting him loose and he was terribly inaccurate and lacking even the most basic of mental aspects of the QB position

  • Jason

    Good point about Carter being the only backup with any kind of experience in a 3-4. This is why I can’t understand Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac saying it’s very unlikely that Harrison will return. For a reasonable contract I like the move even though they are tring to get younger it wouldn’t hurt to add him as a situational guy.

  • Leon Mcnair

    You left out mount McCullers he will make it over fangupo

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I don’t think Carter goes unless we get a better OLB. That said, I think we will and the special teams players we drafted will allow us to make tough decisions about Carter, Allen and maybe even James Harrison.

  • cencalsteeler

    Thank you Steeltown. The squashing of the Landry Jones pick is ridiculous. Did everyone expect to keep Leftwich and Batch forever? We had to get younger at that position and that’s who the fo chose. Let’s give the guy a chance, after all, he did win the trash can competition last season as a rookie!

  • Like you, I don’t see Carter as a lock; in fact, I wonder whether they’d sign Deebo or go with HoJo [if the kid shows promise] before sticking with Carter’s known ceiling. Re Landry Jones, someone has to be the 3rd QB, and the kid from Cinci looks very nice in his highlight film but much less so in the full game tape against N.C., which exposes his downside when under pressure. Then again, he’s a UDFA, not a 1st rounder, so one should expect a project. Unless he wows at camp, he might make the practice squad,

  • grw1960

    Landry may improve. But what I seen his last year in College was; He was good when he had no pressure, but folded or bailed every time he was pressured by better defenses.

  • Steel PAul

    🙂 I think you may have made my point further mentioning Dixon.

  • cencalsteeler

    That may be why the Steelers chose him. Haley’s offense is geared toward three step quick release, as opposed to the five step drop, set up and find your open receiver. If you get rid of the ball faster, you avoid pressure.

  • SteelersDepot

    I don’t think you can call him a lock right now.

  • Paul R

    Chris Carter will also cost approx 225k more than a minimum price rookie. not a huge sum but the way we are usually up against the max, every dollar counts.


    Only 4 WRs? I think we’ll keep 5. Probably Moye as the 5th receiver.

  • SteelersDepot

    Once again, these are only players perceived as roster locks. That is why only 41 players are listed.

  • SteelersDepot

    People, this is not a final 53 projection. That was done a few days ago and is linked to in the post above. This list includes perceived roster locks ONLY. Please re-read the post.

  • Soliciting Steelers

    I see more rookies making roster:

    James Harrison/ Howard Jones over Chris Carter
    Blanchflower over Palmer (same style but younger and better catcher)
    Eric Waters over Paulson (same move TE)
    Wesley Johnson over Guy Whimper
    McCullers over Fangupo (intriguing ST possibilities, fg block)

    Farewell to Robert Golden, Garvin, Embernate (doesn’t fit zone scheme and the knee), Moye, and possibly Spence but I hope not…

  • DarthVenamis

    I just don’t understand how so many people seem so sure that he won’t work out after watching him throw 20 passes total in his first NFL experience. It just seems to be a mob mentality at this point.

  • Soliciting Steelers

    We know Dave but we are too lazy to go back to previous roster articles when we are already here 😉

  • 20Stoney

    I keep beating this dead horse, but they had Hoyer a couple months earlier and cut him over Leftwich.

    I have no issue with Landry Jones the person or player. I only have issue with the selection of him there. I think that is a lot of people’s issue and it has kind of turned into holding him responsible for where he was picked. They had a lot more pressing needs and backup qb’s are like punters. They can be had elsewhere. Now if they actually see him as a potential starter down the road, that may be another story.

  • Jason

    FAR from a lock

  • Soliciting Steelers

    agreed….I think ST will push McCullers over Fangupo….Plant him next to the longsnapper on fg block and let him push and get the big paws up !!

  • I am not a huge Jones fan, but my main gripe with him is the Hoyer situation, and the fact that drafting Jones essentially cost us a third this year. But hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

  • SteelersDepot

    The thing is, even if McCullers makes the final 53, there’s a good chance he will be a gameday inactive for the first SEVERAL weeks. Remember, Cam Thomas can also play the nose.

  • I see it the same. IMO, you essentially have to look at him as a third round pick this year, since if we had kept Hoyer, we would have taken Thomas with the normal 4th rather than trading up.

  • scott2443

    from what i can tell no ones to big a fan carter ..if steelers feel same way why keep him must be a lber still available with experience ..sure carter knows the system but alot good that does if he cant handle his spot…as far as landry goes hes 3rd string qb and backup …i am thinking the new qb kay picked up after draft might make landry work harder or even beat him out ..steelers dont need to carry another guy 4 years on a rookie contract whos just not going to be around and holds a clip board as a 3rd string qb and dont show improvement …

  • Soliciting Steelers

    Thought they normally dress 5 DL don’t they? Who would be the other active with Fangupo gone?

  • joed32

    Need to keep 4 safeties.

  • Soliciting Steelers

    We gotem: Allen, Mitchell, Polamalu, Thomas

  • SteelersDepot

    Williams or Arnfelt. Whichever cracks the roster.

  • Soliciting Steelers

    Carter had his chance to start and did zippo!

  • Soliciting Steelers

    Ok, true that! What about Mauro? Dave Todd ESPN podcast has had a couple interviewees just raving about this guy?

  • cencalsteeler

    I see your point and I agree to an extent. People that take issue with Landry are hung up on the draft position in which he was taken. I personally, throw that stuff out the window, its history and can not be changed. He’s on our team now and he has improved that position. One could say we could have taken (fill in the blank) instead of Terry Hawthorne, but it’s water under the bridge. The fact is Landry has to be an improvement over an aging Batch and Leftwich and is young enough to grow and develop. With what we saw in 2012 when Ben got hurt, we needed to address qb desperately. Teams are investing heavily in good quality backups (see Chicago Bears 2013) because odds are thin that a starter makes it through a whole season. We are not on an island here, NYG followed our pick of Landry by taking Nassib.

  • Alan Felicia

    The reason why its very unlikely James Harrison returns this season will be the same reason as last year: Harrison did not want to take a major salary cut and didn’t want to share a starting rotation with Worilds. At this point in Harrison’s career, he’s worth only the veteran minimum. Unfortunately for Harrison, he still feels he can start, contribute, and worth more than the minimum.

  • joed32

    You’re right! We had 3 of those last year plus Clark but still kept Golden so maybe it’s 5?

  • Soliciting Steelers

    I always forget about Will Allen too haha!

  • afrazier9

    that was one of the worst picks i ever seen us make i guess we paniced and drafted for need

  • afrazier9

    exactly couldn’t have said it better

  • Sonny-James

    I really think we’ll see improvement from Landry Jones this year. I suspect he started out with some kind of arm or shoulder injury on his throwing arm, and he played well initially in his final preseason game before collapsing.

  • Jason

    I was just thinking that that experience may have humbled him (if that’s possible). He has to know at this point, with phones not ringing off the hook, he and his agent overvalued his services.

  • 20Stoney

    I know I should let it go,( which is why I always preface it with “dead horse”), BUT I was miffed when they released him and its stuck with me. It was pretty obvious Leftwich was done. I know it’s just the backup QB position but Hoyer/Leftwich/Landry, is right behind Weiters/Moskos/Sanchez on my list of recent Pittsburgh sports mistakes. If Hoyer ever starts against Landry and beats us my head may explode.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I hope this is not the end for spence

  • Jonny Panic

    I watched a lot of Cincinnati games the past few years (it’s where I went to school) and Brendon Kay is a decent QB project. He’s pretty tough, played through multiple injuries because their other QB was knocked out for the season. He also has a lot of in game experience, I think he was there for 5 seasons.

  • dgh57

    Keep in mind Allen will be 32 when the season starts and Golden will be 24. I think we kept 5 Safeties on the roster last year and we may end up doing the same this year.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Hopefully we can sign James Harrison to replace Carter. I’ll take a 50 year old Harrison over Carter any day of the week.

  • cencalsteeler

    I was scratching my head, too when they let Hoyer go. But, sometimes you have to just trust our system and hope they make the right choice. I just don’t like the bashing of the pick because lets face it, sooner or later the issue needed to be addressed. The we could’ve him got instead or we didn’t get the value in that round for him sounds like kids on the playground talk to me (not pointed towards you). He’s unproven and we got younger at the position in hopes of improving. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

  • steeltown

    But that doesn’t really relate, if we had kept Hoyer we probably wouldn’t have signed Gradkowski and might have still drafted Landry Jones

  • steeltown

    We usually keep 3QBs on roster, Hoyer wouldve most likely been #2 that would change the Gradkowski signing, not Landry Jones

  • steeltown

    Yea but my main point was we gave Dixon 3yrs to show something, 3yrs and he regressed in my opinion. If in another 2yrs Landry looks lost and plays poorly then I’ll jump on the bandwagon.

  • LTSnaples

    I don’t see Chris Carter as a lock. I understand he has experience in the defense, but if it comes down to him vs. a guy with upside and room for growth (like Howard Jones perhaps)… I think it’s entirely possible they keep the new kid. Carter hasn’t shown enough production in three years to justify a roster lock.

  • 20Stoney

    I’ve thought about that and obviously no body can say for sure but we were replacing 2 backups so even if they keep hoyer I think they still want to have at least one experienced backup on the roster

  • vinnie12

    They were actually expecting to get Hoyer back! They took a risk and lost!

  • vinnie12

    I was just wondering if anyone knows what happened to Terry Hawthorne?
    I think he had great potential. Do we still have him?

  • PA2AK

    lol…refs would have their arms up before McCullers moves!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I do not see Carter as a lock. Cannot tell you who would take his place but the guy just isnt even a decent back up. Richardson I feel would be the other guy who ins’t a lock…we have some young guys on the team that has shown some potential(…he will fight for a roster spot and his NFL career.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    never made the team or PS squad…not sure what happened besides being injured for most of preseason

  • steeltown

    Free Agent… no one has touched him since we released him last August

  • steeltown

    Valid point. The kid excelled at the short and intermediate passing game, has quick release on the ball.

  • Dan Piotrowski

    Wasn’t Thad Gibson a 4th round pick who was cut out of camp?

  • joed32

    Injured and never recovered, read something about an attitude problem on the Scout board.

  • Steel PAul

    I understood steeltown 🙂 was just having fun.

    I guess I’d prefer if they are going to draft a QB, to select a player that has a chance to be a starting QB. Seems this selection was possibly choosing a backup down the road – and that’s IF it works out well. Anyway…

  • joed32

    Yep, couldn’t get off the LOS against NFL corners and couldn’t learn the routes. Felt sorry for him.

  • SteelersDepot

    no, Thad Gibson made the 53 out of camp. was inactive first game against falcons

  • SteelersDepot

    you are thinking about Fred Gibson


    Thanks Dave. You’re the man! GO STEELERS!

  • Does Kay offer anything over Landry Jones? |The guy |I hoped they’d grab from Cinci was TE Blake Annen (on the strength of Dave Te Thomas’s praise:)

  • Scot Hickerson

    AT OU Landry threw the ball 2183 times but was only sacked 52 times. So on average he threw it 545 times a year and was only sacked 13 times. Ben was sacked 46 times just this last year. Landry throws the ball away instead of taking sacks, but still had 67% completion his senior year. He made a hand full of mistakes throwing it away when he should have taken the sack but he is not bad a pressure. Sacks equal lost yards punts and killed drives.

  • Scot Hickerson

    Mike Tomlin was asked last year how Landry was doing in practice he said with 4 years in collage and 40 wins and 16000 yards of course he represents himself well in a practice setting. Landry is going to be the Steelers Aaron Rodgers. Packer fans were upset with the Rodgers pick too. You don’t do as well as he did at a Major BCS School against top competition and suck. I don’t think the Steelers will renew Ben’s Contract. Don’t judge him either by his preseason stats, The third string o line was bad and he had to throw it away a lot. Still had some good touchdown passes…. He will be the back up this year.

  • Donny Simmons

    Thad was cut and signed to the practice squad then poched by the 49ers

  • Bill

    Geez; we know Carter is a stiff! They could keep just about anybody and it would be equal to Carter. The right move: Bring back Harrison!

  • patrick Mayfield

    I don’t see McCain as a lock. The team might only carry 5 corners this year and having 5 locks is not realistic. The last guy earns a hat on special teams. Blake would have the edge in that case. Considering the roster at safety to get some flex, Sharmako could play in the slot if needed, leaving Golden and Allen as other safety depth that potentially helps this team more than McCain.

  • Steel PAul

    I mean, if you go back and look at the QB’s that have won the Heisman trophy over time, there are a number of great college QB’s that didn’t make the transition.

    Charlie Ward, Chris Weinke, Danny Wuerffel, Doug Flutie, Eric Crouch, Gino Toretta, Ty Detmer and on and on.

    If Landry was as good as his statistics, he would have been drafted much earlier, don’t you think?

    I’m not arguing, btw. Just sharing what I’ve seen in the past.

  • Scot Hickerson

    Go ahead and argue. LOL its fun to talk about. There have been a lot of 1st round draft pick flops too, its not a science. Doug Flutie did ok, but a lot of those guys got in bad situations and some were undersized. But I think Landry got Screwed in the draft had he entered the draft in 2012 I think he would have been a first round pick. Mel Kiper had him at 15 in his top 50 prospects ahead of Tannehill and Wheaton. In 2013 he got lumped in with the rest of the bad QB class and it was almost like he was being punished for not going out a year earlier. The sign that Landry is doing a lot better than people think is the team not extending Ben’s Contract.

  • Steel PAul

    Hmm, your last statement is interesting but it feels like there are potentially other considerations there. And, it’s not as if Jones has had an opportunity to show them that he’s the guy of the future, right?

    Hasn’t played in a regular season game even.

    We’ll just have to wait another 2-3 months to see where he’s at. I sure hope you’re right!!

    Just not the feeling I get.