Bryan: Steelers 2014 53 Man Roster Prediction – Post First Preseason Game Edition

With the Pittsburgh Steelers now having one preseason game in the books, it’s now time for the latest installment of my 53 man roster prediction. If you would like to see my previous version, it is right here.

In the comments below, tell me the selections you disagree with and which player makes it instead. How many of these 53 are locks?

Let me say that I struggled with the final six spots and most of those were on defense.

My next 53 prediction will come after the Steelers second preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

Offense (24)

Quarterbacks (3) - Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones

Analysis: I sure could use Jones’ roster spot, but will keep him just the same. They need seven inactives every week, right?

Running Backs (3) - Le’Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount, Dri Archer

Analysis: None of the young runnning backs are making a push. Tauren Poole looks like he will lose playing time to Josh Harris this week and that’s never good.

Fullbacks (1) - Will Johnson

Analysis: Johnson is really the only true fullback on the roster right now and could also function as a third tight end.

Wide Receivers (5) - Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Martavis Bryant, Justin Brown

Analysis: Derek Moye can go to the practice squad while Darrius Heyward-Bey can go home. No need for six.

Tight Ends (3) - Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, David Paulson

Analysis: I know Johnson can serve as a third, but one injury to either group during a game could hurt. None of the young tight ends have emerged so being Paulson has the best hands and plays special teams, he stays for now. Not my favorite selection.

Offensive Line (9) - Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert, Mike Adams, Kelvin Beachum, Cody Wallace, Wesley Johnson, Guy Whimper

Analysis: Seems like Mike Munchak wants to keep nine. We knew who seven of them will be so who is eight and nine? Nobody has made Whimper expendable so far.

Defense (26)

Defensive Lineman (6) - Steve McLendon, Cameron Heyward, Cam Thomas, Stephon Tuitt, Brett Keisel, Daniel McCullers

Analysis: Yes, I still have Keisel on the roster even though both Thomas and Tuitt played well in their debuts with the Steelers. McCullers is likely to be inactive for several weeks should he make the roster.

Inside Linebackers (5) - Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams, Sean Spence, Terence Garvin

Analysis: This group should be set with Garvin serving as the swing guy that can play both inside and outside.

Outside Linebackers (4) - Jarvis Jones, Jason Worilds, Chris Carter, Arthur Moats

Analysis: Carter is the only one in danger here. Can Howard Jones make him expendable?

Cornerbacks (6) - Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Shaquille Richardson, Antwon Blake, Brice McCain

Analysis: One minute I’m ready to keep McCain, the next I’m ready to throw him off the roster again. I’m not sure what the team thinks about him. The same goes for Richardson. Would they really cut another fifth-round cornerback and try and carry him on the practice squad? This ight come down to McCain or Richardson.

Safeties (5) - Troy Polamalu, Mike Mitchell, Shamarko Thomas, Robert Golden, Will Allen

Analysis: This makes 11 total defensive backs which in reality is likely one too many. I tried really hard to cut Allen but I just can’t do it. Hopefully the young safeties can close the gap by the start of the season to make him expendable.

Specialists (3)

Kicker (1) - Shaun Suisham

Analysis: Suisham remains the only placekicker on the roster heading into training camp.

Punter (1) - Brad Wing

Analysis: Adam Podlesh has yet to report so Wing wins by default as of right now.

Long Snapper (1) - Greg Warren

Analysis: Winner, again.

Practice Squad (8) – Tauren Poole, Brian Arnfelt, Derek Moye, Howard Jones, Eric WatersChris Hubbard, Josh Mauro, Jordan Zumwalt

Analysis: I think this list s self explanatory. They need an extra back and wide receiver on the practice squad and Poole and Moye best fit. The tight end spot will likely be Waters or Rob Blanchflower. Jones and Zumwalt both should be safe with Hubbard being a practice lineman.

2014 Steelers 53 Man Roster Prediction Training Camp

OFFENSE (24)
Roethlisberger, BenQB
Gradkowski, BruceQB
Jones, LandryQB
Brown, AntonioWR
Wheaton, MarkusWR
Moore, LanceWR
Brown, JustinWR
Bryant, MartavisWR
Miller, HeathTE
Spaeth, MattTE
Paulson, DavidTE
Bell, Le’VeonRB
Blount, LeGarretteRB
Archer, DriRB
Johnson, WillFB
Pouncey, MaurkiceC
DeCastro, DavidG
Foster, RamonG
Beachum, KelvinT/G
Gilbert, MarcusT
Adams, MikeT
Wallace, CodyC/G
Whimper, GuyT/G
Johnson, WesleyT/G
DEFENSE (26)
Taylor, IkeCB
Allen, CortezCB
Gay, WilliamCB
Richardson, ShaquilleCB
Blake, AntwonCB
McCain, BriceCB
Polamalu, TroyS
Mitchell, MikeS
Thomas, ShamarkoS
Golden, RobertS
Allen, WillS
Heyward, CameronDE
McLendon, SteveNT/DE
Tuitt, StephonDE
Thomas, CamDE/NT
Keisel, BrettDE
McCullers, DanielNT
Timmons, LawrenceILB
Shazier, RyanILB
Williams, VinceILB
Spence, SeanILB
Garvin, TerenceILB/OLB
Worilds, JasonOLB
Jones, JarvisOLB
Carter, ChrisOLB
Moats, ArthurOLB
SPECIALISTS (3)
Warren, GregLS
Suisham, ShaunK
Wing, BradP
PRACTICE SQUAD (8)
Poole, TaurenRB
Arnfelt, BrianDE
Mauro, JoshDE
Jones, HowardOLB
Waters, EricTE
Moye, DerekWR
Hubbard, ChrisG
Zumwalt, JordanILB/OLB

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Michael Aubele

    Great list, with two disagreements:
    1. Cut Landry Jones, and admit the mistake; if we do end up needing a third, numerous QB’s can be picked up off the scrap heap with the same amount of talent. In his place, bring back Harrison.
    2. Howard Jones has already made Chris Carter expendable; he makes it over Carter.

  • steeltown

    This seems about right. Though like most, I am not a fan of keeping Carter and Paulson (again) but no one has really stepped up, yet

  • srdan

    Wow dave, you have 7 rooks making the 53. That’s impressive!

    And I agree with you. I’m excited for this young core with the new additions.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Dave, I really agree with almost all of your picks. I can see them taking Howard Jones over C. Carter. Let’s face it, Carter is probably not going to be back after this year, so why keep him, especially when Jones shows promise? I think they are more likely to keep Blanchflower on the PS, and I don’t really care who they keep for an offensive lineman on the PS, if they keep the nine guys you are showing. There is a pretty big dropoff after that. Maybe they look elsewhere for the PS for the OL. I would like to see Nick Williams stay on the PS, too, but I know they have only have so many spots. I think Mauro makes the regular roster, although I like your sentimental pick for “The Beard.”

  • srdan

    And 7 from last year if I am counting right.

    14 players makes about a quarter of the team extremely young. Good stuff!

  • superfan

    To me, if Landry Jones can’t be a capable backup quarterback this season, he’s gone. Meaning if something happens to Ben or Gradkowski, and the team isn’t comfortable with Jones as the #2, they should let him go. He’s not that great of a talent to keep as a developmental player.

    So basically, he has 2-3 preseason games to prove he can play if needed. If he can’t do that, he should be out. To much other talent, like Howard Jones, to have a developmental QB on the roster.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Agree for the most part only changes I would make would be to cut Landry Jones it’s time to admit that was a bad pick and I would find a spot for Howard Jones on the 53. Also If we bring back Da Beard does that mean the Nick Williams experiment is over?

  • ApexSteel

    I hope the team understands that we have like 12 Brice McCain’s already.

  • Simon Cutts

    agree totally. How can these two keep making the roster. Add Paulson too.

  • patrick Mayfield

    3rd QB IMO it’s good to have someone in your system so they don’t have to learn the playbook. That guy could be on the PS though.

  • Steelers12328882

    I like this prediction with the exception of 2 players. Keisel and Shaq Richardson. I think Josh Mauro earns a roster spot at this moment in time, and I would give Howard Jones a roster spot too. I’d put Shaq on the practice squad and the other PS spot goes to Nick Williams.

  • Steve

    Don’t see Keisel back. With Tuitt and McCullars on the rise why bring him in?

  • Steve

    Landry is a good safety net should Ben go down.

  • Aric Brown

    You severely misspelled Gradkowski

  • Steve

    Bringing back Keisel would mean letting a young guy go, who could help for years. This is my strongest argument against Vets returning. Steelers have done this a few times in the past with OL, sure hope they don’t repeat the mistake.

  • Steve

    This is not a spelling contest, we are talking football.

  • Aric Brown

    Zumwalt will be signed off our practice squad

  • Jake Miller

    I don’t know about good safety net. Safety net full of holes is more like it.

  • PA2AK

    right but you said Landry…and i wouldn’t call what he does ‘football’

  • PA2AK

    Paulson is the only one that bothers me….from the reports thus far…i have to agree with the choice at this point.

  • Aric Brown

    Well nets do have holes in them

  • Jake Miller

    I don’t know how huge other teams are on him. I wouldn’t assume that everyone wants him just because we like him. Still hoping there is a way for him to make it in.

  • Steve

    IMO Did better than Gradkowski this past week. Let us see how Landry does in the next few weeks.

  • Aric Brown

    Theyd have to give him a chance to show his versatility for that to happen, but I think its common knowledge that the Steelers are a LB factory and fully expect somebody to take a chance on whichever LB is left out

  • SteelersDepot

    based on what? every year people claim how a player will never clear waivers and it never happens. Ra’shon Harris was the last Steelers player to get claimed off waivers after final cut and that was because Panthers had injuries. that was 2009.

  • PA2AK

    It would be the surprise of the year if they trotted Landry out there in Ben’s absence…regardless of how he looks against rookies in the second half of preseason games.

  • dennisdoubleday

    Bringing Keisel back would be a mistake. In any case, I guess we will know by next week, because I can’t see them bringing him back without at least a couple of weeks of pre-season to get ready.

  • patrick Mayfield

    - Brice McCain
    – Chris Carter
    + Howard Jones
    – Wes Johnson
    + Chris Elkins
    + Josh Mauro

    I don’t see the point of keeping McCain. With Shamarko’s versatility, I think you cut McCain loose. If you carry this many at DB then maybe 2 of them are going to be gameday inactive. The tail of this roster at DB, Richardson aside, is all ST guys and you don’t have enough hats to suit them all up.

    You have to get rid of Chris Carter. Either sign Harrison or pick up HoJo. If Moats is doing as well as people say maybe HoJo is the way to go there.

    Normally the team seems like it keeps 7 DL but now with 2 rookies in the group I don’t think you can go down to 6, particularly considering that Keisel and Cam Thomas are not part of the long term plan. Cutting McCain lets you add Mauro or Arnfelt here.

    Not sold on Wesley Johnson either. He got a lot of work in camp but didn’t get a chance on film. Has he shown enough to be better than Elkins? Unless the team can see him playing tackle down the road it seems like they have a better guard in Nugget.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    the only difference I would make is laundry (yes I spelt it that way on purpose) jones to the practice squad and Heyward-Bay as the 6th WR. His speed on special teams is my only reason for this. Didn’t we used to keep a 6th WR a few years back that was a ST stud? White guy cant remember his name (wanna say Moher or something) Plus Jones just isn’t worth a spot on the 53, would straight cut him but giving up on a 4th round pick this early isn’t smart.

  • Luis Grove

    Great roster, personally I see no reason to keep Carter. He can’t set the edge, he rarely applies pressure and he doesn’t make many ST tackles. I would rather see 92 brought back, if H.Jones doesn’t show immediate growth. If Arnfelt isn’t flashing after an entire season on the practice squad, why not give that spot to N.Williams?

  • Aric Brown

    I just think Zumwalt is gonna be a solid football player… didnt Oakland sign someone off our practice squad last year?

  • patrick Mayfield

    Sean Morey

  • Steve

    LHB is not worth keeping a roster spot – what has he done to deserve it?

  • Jake Miller

    My biggest beef with this is Keisel. I love Da Beard as much as the next guy, but there is no reason to stifle young development. That spot goes to Mauro. He has been running a lot of 2nd team lately.

    Still hoping for someone to uproot Carter.

    Why waste time with Landry Jones? I’d rather one of our RBs take the snap and sneak it every time.

    I’m thinking 5 corners too. Cut McCain or put Shaq on PS.

    On a side note, why can’t we keep 10 LBs this year? *sigh*

  • SteelersDepot

    nope, not off of waivers.

  • Steve

    If Ben gets hurt – be surprised!

  • PA2AK

    McCain looked much better than Shamarko on ST tape. Didn’t do so bad on D in limited snaps either.

  • PA2AK

    haha maybe you have a shot at stand-up.

  • Jake Miller

    Heyward Bey? No way.
    I hear about him dropping an easy long ball every single day. Every. Single. Day.

  • patrick Mayfield

    I mean that Shamarko can play the slot on defense. McCain I see as a ST guy along with Blake and Golden. He contributes the least of those 3 to base defense and so I see him being inactive barring injury. If you have an inactive who is a developing talent I think you’re better off than carrying journeyman depth there.

  • Steve

    One thing Landry has going for him is his age.(25) Bruce is (31) and on the downside of 30.

  • PA2AK

    My daughter has age going for her too, but she can’t play either.

  • Steve

    My Grandmother has been dead 10 years but she was a Steeler fan.

  • Aric Brown

    Im not saying it cant happen, but its highly unlikely. The only way I see that happening is if Ben goes down in week 9 or so and we are already eliminated from playoff contention… just to givethe kid a shot to see what he has in real NFL games

  • Luis Grove

    Why is it a mistake?

  • Luis Grove

    I don’t understand why people are putting Mauro on the roster already, he had a couple of good snaps against 2’s and 3’s. I hope for the youngsters too, but let’s see some consistency first

  • Luis Grove

    Just a question, if Heyward, Tuitt or Zilla go down, who are you giving live game reps to?

  • Steve

    Doubt all 3 go down. Maybe one but not all 3.

  • Luis Grove

    I meant 1, do you expect the other two to play every snap? If not, who gets their reps

  • dennisdoubleday

    Given his age and recent injury history, we will be lucky to get 8 games out of him. I’m not willing to cut a guy like Arnfelt or Mauro or Williams, who could be here for years, for his roster spot.

  • BFB

    I say cut Paulson and keep Moye. Moye is tall and can make the catches (probably better than) Paulson. If Moye can block then he is an upgrade over Paulson who is at best a backup journeyman. IMO, he has shown little improvement and Moye seems to work hard. Does it come down to being a special teams player?….

  • BFB

    Also, how about Landry Jones to the PS? I don’t see other teams knocking down the door to poach him and he would be available if needed in the regular season.

  • Paddy

    15 new players that’s a lot for any team but a boatload for them. Not counting kickers

  • johnhoien

    What about Dangerfield making the practice squad.. Next year he overtakes Allen for back up Saftey..

  • AndyR34

    They kept Dixon until the end of his rookie contract and he couldn’t play at all.

  • AndyR34

    It only makes sense if you are interested in winning this year. If you don’t care, then go ahead and carry a non-contributor.

  • AndyR34

    I agree – Arnfelt had good snaps AND consistency last year against 2’s and 3’s. He went to the PS.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    Just noticed Howard Jones isn’t on the 53. Would drop Will Allen or McCain to make a spot for him. Will Gay can play safety if they really need him to and/or Shark or Golden can play nickel corner if they really need them to. So I think that they could get away with letting one of the

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    yup that’s him

  • superfan

    This is true, but they also had a package of plays that utilized Dixon’s athleticism. He was able to be competitive in the few games he had to start.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    nothing. I agree with you. But when I watched him covering kicks for the Colts last season I seen a ST ace.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    I don’t want him on the roster to catch the ball. Like I stated,I want him for his ST play. As a gunner on kickoffs and punts. As a WR he already has experience getting off the initial jam on punt coverage then with that speed I can see fair catches becoming the norm.

  • marcus

    the one I disagree with is having Keisel back, we don’t need him. I like the beard but he is past his prime. DE William look very good Saturday as well as DE Mauro and Arnfelt. they are younger and faster than Keisel. we need to cut Landry Jones, wasted roster spot. Poole did not impress me at all , cut him. Maybe this new Rb we just sign will do better, his highlights from college look very good. I really don’t like paulson, all he is, is a WR in a TE body. we need to scout for a new punter, brad wing was not impressive at all. but Mike said he is not bringing anyone else in. Sorry to hear that. Carter still needs work and to bulk up. Howard Jones, i did not see much from him except the fumble recovery and that isn’t enough to make a team. Dangerfield look good in preseason, we should find a spot for him. Other than this, I agree with much of the choices for the 53 man roaster.

  • Luis Grove

    Lol… Nobody is going to put Zumwalt on their 53, based on what production?

  • Douglas Andrews

    I agree with you that bringing back Kiesel would be at the expense of a young guy. The interesting part of Dave’s prediction is that Nick Williams is not on the 53 or the PS so i was just wondering if Dave would give us more insight what he thinks Nick Williams future is with the Steelers.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    It would be cool to have a running poll for the bubble guys but I think a few people would vote often enough to make the results worthless.

    I don’t think Allen, Carter, Keisel or Paulson make the squad.

    I’ll replace them with Nick Williams, Mauro, Howard Jones and Waters for this exercise.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I would guess some people are using more than those 2 or 3 snaps to make their decision.

  • joed32

    And they got him back.

  • Ben Anderson

    I don’t think Keisel comes back. I’ll join that chorus.
    I also don’t think that HoJo, Zumwalt or Mauro would pass through waivers and be available for the PS.
    So, you put Landry Jones on the PS, (last weeks game shows me that he would STILL pass through waivers this year) and cut Chris Carter.

  • Steelers12328882

    Simple. Someone has to be on the roster as a backup DE. They’re not going to just keep 3 DEs. Mauro seems to be the front runner judging solely on the order he’s practicing/playing among the DEs. Let me ask you, who do you think makes the 53 at that 4th DE spot? Please don’t say Keisel.

  • Steve

    Arnfelt and Williams are sitting the oaks.

  • Steelers12328882

    Meant to reply to you, but posted by accident under the other guy.

  • Steve

    Being hurt IMO is a non contributor, which Keisel was last year.

  • Luis Grove

    Well apparently he doesn’t believe he has one

  • Luis Grove

    That’s the point, do you have more faith in 99 or someone who needs to ride the pine

  • Luis Grove

    Hopefully that #4 needs 200~300 snaps and yes I would prefer 99 take those snaps this year over Mauro,Arnfelt,Williams etc. Wouldn’t you?

  • Rick Tilves

    Cut Landry Jones Part II ! He Stinks ! Just put Kay on PS OR re-sign Jones later if we Must due to injury. HE will be sitting around, because no one else will want him either. Keep Howard Jones at OLB. The kid has Too much Speed and Ability and they could lose him. Dump “Do Nothing Carter”, He has had his Chances !

  • Rick Tilves

    I Like How you think Buddy ! I read yours after I Posted mine above. We Must be Related ! LOL

  • Rick Tilves

    Landry Jones is Terrible and will Never make IT.

  • Rick Tilves

    I agree with you on Keeping Zumwalt and I would also keep Howard Jones. Both have Speed and Ability. Time to get rid of the same old Hangers On from past few years !

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I like to think of things more from the question standpoint:

    QB – Has Jones done enough to keep a roster spot?
    RB – Do we carry a 4th (5th) RB or just put one on the PS?
    WR – How many do we carry? Moye has a shot if it is 6, but otherwise I think we are ste.
    TE – Who is the #3 going to be?
    OL – Do we carry 8 or 9? If 9, can anyone be better than Whimper and Johnson?

    DL – Do we carry 6 or 7? Even if only 6 who is the #4 DE?
    LB – Does Carter hold onto his spot or does H. Jones beat him out?
    S – Do we keep 5? If not, who gets cut?
    CB – Do we keep 6? If only 5 is it McCain or Richardson getting cut?

  • Steve

    Would rather have Williams and not Keisel. Besides, Keisel said last year he would NOT play for the Vet minimum.

  • Steve

    Live in Texas and seen Landry play a lot with the Sooners.

  • Steve

    That was said about Terry Bradshaw after being carted off the field.

  • Luis Grove

    Steve, he will play for min.
    Are you basing your decision to keep Williams, solely on the 13 3rd team reps he has had in his career, seriously?

  • Rick Tilves

    “I knew Terry Bradshaw and Landry Jones and is NO Terry Bradshaw” In fact he cannot even carry “The Blonde Bomber’s “Jock Now or Ever.

  • Steve

    Than you seen Terry get leveled by Turkey Jones as the fans cheered as Terry was taken in to the locker room?

  • Dave Huston

    What about Jordan Dangerfield? Seems like he’d be a good practice squad candidate.

  • Michael Parker

    Pretty solid. I would rather keep Mauro or Williams over a Keisel return. Keisel was done 2 years ago. I like Howard Jones over Carter. I think Jones would make more of an impact on special teams. Dont see anyone challenging Paulson which is disappointing.

  • Steelers12328882

    No. I’m over Keisel. He’d already be back if the Steelers planned on signing him. ONLY way he’s back in my opinion is if 1 of our top 3 gets injured. We need to find young guys and I’m holding out hope that one can step up.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    HB Poole is a add subtract Whimper. Poole showed he can play some ST and Adams seems to be looking up and Johnson can be an emergency OT if needed

    DE Arnfelt is a add subtract Keisel. Keisel isnt going anywhere and Arnfelts always go attitude will be enough to get him a roster spot

    S Dangerfield is a add subtract Allen. Allens age is becoming an issue and Dangerfield has shown how electric he can be on the field with his stellar ST play

    PS Squad: Devin Smith CB, Chris Elkins OG, Josh Mauro DE, Josh Harris HB, Howard Jones OLB, Jordan Zumwalt ILB, Derek Moye WR, Rob Blanchflower TE

    Guys to watch: Nick Williams, Dan Molls, Chris Hubbard. I loved Molls coming out of Toledo and was hoping the Steelers would have taken a chance on him as a UDFA last year.

  • Milliken Steeler

    That made me angry actually Steve. Im still surprised none of the Steelers took Turkeys head off for that cheap shot.

    That could have broke Terrys neck and ended his career. That would have ended with 15 flags and a suspension in todays NFL.

    Terry was one tough SOB.

  • Guest

    Based on?

  • Rick Tilves

    Steve, I am 62, so of course I remember that HIT. It has Nothing to do with Jones’ ability and talent compared to Bradshaw’s. You must be an Oklahoma Fan to like Landry Jone so much, even after all the reports from many media writers/reporters (and Coach’s quotes) that he has Not Improved this year over last year. This is Not Oklahoma and College Football. This is Big Boy Football in the NFL and he is not good enough for this League.

  • Steve

    Than you remember Bradshaw being BOO’ed off the field! Terry was ridiculed back then and you were probably one of them. Never been an Okey fan and never will be. Grew up on the North Side, will always be Steeler fan.

  • Steve

    If you Google that, Terry has neck problems and spinal issues because of that hit. With you that Turkey Jones should have been fined.

  • Rick Tilves

    We have one Thing in Common Steve WE are Steeler FANS ! I Never BOOED Bradshaw, OR any Steeler. If the “Emperor Chas” put him out there to play that was good enough for Me. I only coached H.S. Football, so Mr. Noll forgot more than I ever knew. ARE Disagreement centers around Landry Jones. Who I think holds the ball to long, has a poor throwing motion, is Very Inaccurate and will never play in the NFL.