UPDATED: Being as the team has yet to make any moves outside of placing Jordan Zumwalt on injured reserve, which I predicted, and claiming cornerback B.W. Webb off of waivers, I feel like I deserve a mulligan. All of my changes are in red and it really just involves the addition of Webb and releasing of Will Allen.
Now that the preseason games are behind us, it’s finally time for me to predict the Pittsburgh Steelers 53 man roster and 10 man practice squad for the 2014 season.
A few injuries that took place Thursday night might shake things up just a little bit, but luckily we have clarity as far as the long snapper position goes.
I will not be surprised if a player or two are claimed off of waivers after all of the teams trim their rosters down on Saturday as we saw this done last year at this time.
Let me know in the comments below the selections that you disagree with. The Steelers are expected to make their final cuts on Saturday.
Quarterbacks (3) – Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones
Analysis: If it were me, I would waive Jones and try to get him to the practice squad, but I would be fighting history by doing that. Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin like keeping three quarterbacks, so I will predict that they will let Jones hang around on the inactive list all season once again.
Running Backs (3) – Le’Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount, Dri Archer
Analysis: All three are running backs are healthy, so I can’t see a fourth being kept. Instead, I will send the other two to the practice squad.
Fullbacks (1) – Will Johnson
Analysis: Thankfully Johnson is back healthy to start the season. He can also serve as an emergency ball carrier in addition to playing some fullback and tight end.
Wide Receivers (6) – Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Martavis Bryant, Justin Brown, Darrius Heyward-Bey
Analysis: Heyward-Bey has to stick thanks to what he’s done the last two weeks. In addition, Bryant’s shoulder sprain might have him down for a few weeks. Because of that, I am keeping Brown as a sixth as he can also be a player that bounces back and forth between the practice squad should a roster spot be needed.
Tight Ends (3) – Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, Michael Palmer
Analysis: Palmer is a better blocker than David Paulson and a better special teams player as well. He deserves to stick. I will send the rookie draft pick to the practice squad.
Offensive Line (9) – Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert, Mike Adams, Kelvin Beachum, Cody Wallace, Wesley Johnson, Guy Whimper
Analysis: This team could really use an upgrade at the backup tackle position and it won’t surprise me if they find one on the waiver wire to replace Whimper. I think Johnson has done enough to stick even though he only played center during the preseason. Johnson and Whimper will both likely be inactive to start the season.
Defensive Linemen (6) – Steve McLendon, Cameron Heyward, Cam Thomas, Stephon Tuitt, Brett Keisel, Daniel McCullers
Analysis: Thanks to the position flexibility that several of the above have, I don’t see the need to carry a seventh. They usually like to dress five every week, so McCullers will likely be an early season inactive.
Inside Linebackers (5) – Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams, Sean Spence, Terence Garvin
Analysis: There is no need for more than five here. It looks like Spence dodged a bullet, but he could start the season on the inactive list just in case.
Outside Linebackers (4) – Jarvis Jones, Jason Worilds, Chris Carter, Arthur Moats
Analysis: In my opinion, Carter has done enough to beat out the undrafted rookie free agent, who I have going to the practice squad.
Cornerbacks (6) – Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Antwon Blake, Brice McCain, B.W. Webb
I am gambling that McCain’s groin injury won’t keep him sidelined too long. I found where McCain injured his groin during the game and it was non contact and looked harmless. I will add Webb as a sixth cornerback.
Safeties (4) – Troy Polamalu, Mike Mitchell, Shamarko Thomas, Robert Golden
I just don’t think Tomlin will cut Allen. In order to add Webb, I will go ahead and predict that Tomlin will let Will Allen go.
Kicker (1) – Shaun Suisham
Analysis: Easy selection.
Punter (1) – Brad Wing
Analysis: Tomlin still seems to be pleased with the work that Wing has done during the preseason.
Long Snapper (1) – Greg Warren
Analysis: It sounds like Warren has been cleared to play, so there’s no need to carry two long snappers.
Practice Squad (10) – Stephen Houston, Nick Williams, Rob Blanchflower, Josh Harris, Chris Hubbard, Josh Mauro, Dan Molls, Shaquille Richardson, Howard Jones, Isaiah Green
Analysis: I have Jordan Zumwalt going to injured reserve and think that Molls did enough to stick around on the expanded unit. If Richardson’s knee injury was serious, you would think they would have placed him on IR during the first cut-down. Maybe both were held out of Thursday’s night game on purpose even though Tomlin said neither were close to being able to play. I think my other choices should be self explanatory.
2014 Steelers 53 Man Roster Prediction Final Edition
|PRACTICE SQUAD (10)|
|INJURED RESERVE (1)|