With minicamp in the rearview mirror and training camp on the horizon, the Pittsburgh Steelers should already have all of the main components of their offseason roster in place, with all draft picks signed and no more free agents projected to be added until further evaluation.
It’s possible that a need should arise for further additions, either due to poor performance or injuries, once we reach training camp.
But for the time being, we should take a look at the depth chart that the front office has put together since the end of the 2013 season and see how well it stacks up in terms of quality and depth.
Due to the cumbersome lengths that offseason rosters can reach, we will be projecting a number or range of roster spots per position and focusing on that number of players per position, with other potential notables receiving mention below.
Projected Roster Spots: 4-5
Kelvin Beachum: In just two short years, Kelvin Beachum has grown from being nearly Mr. Irrelevant to the starting left tackle for the Steelers, protecting the blind side of a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
Mike Munchak recently spoke very highly of him, describing him as athletic, tough, physical, and hardworking, and calling him a player that everybody will know soon as he enters his first year as a starter. Hopefully he lives up to the praises of his position coach.
Marcus Gilbert: Munchak also noted Marcus Gilbert as one of his two tackles. Gilbert hasn’t had his spot challenged since the second game of his career, though he missed significant time in 2012 due to injury.
Even when not missing time, he has had to fight through injury frequently in his career, making it difficult to gauge where he truly is. Nonetheless, he enters training camp in the starting lineup.
Mike Adams: One of two second-round picks at the tackle position, Mike Adams burned out when handed the keys to the blindside last year, receiving a demotion after four games. It’s unclear right now as to how seriously he will be considered for a starting spot during training camp and the preseason, but it seems unlikely that he begins the season on the field.
Guy Whimper: Maligned as soon as the Steelers reported his signing, Guy Whimper is by no means a fan favorite, but he proved that he was deserving of a roster spot last year, as he was asked to play all over the line except center at some point or another. He had an extended cameo appearance at right tackle against the Ravens, which is his best position. He figures to be in decent shape to keep his roster spot, especially if the Steelers carry nine linemen.
Others: The rookie offensive lineman with experience at all five positions, Wesley Johnson will hope to make the roster as the ultimate swingman. That would have been Beachum’s role had he not won a starting job. Like Beachum, he is a tad undersized, but he is technically sound, and has a Hall of Fame technician as his coach to maximize his potential.
Emmanuel McCray, a rookie undrafted free agent, would be a true darkhorse candidate, already with his second team.