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

With the Pittsburgh Steelers now having just one more preseason game left to play, 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?

My final 53 prediction will come out after the Steelers Thursday night game.

Offense (24)

Quarterbacks (2)Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski

Analysis: I’m fighting history by leaving Jones off. He’ll get an extended look Thursday night and if he plays well, he very well might be able to save his spot on the roster. The long snapper situation might also play into the decision to keep him as well.

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

Analysis: Now that Tauren Poole, Jordan Hall and Miguel Maysonet are all gone, that leaves Stephen Houston and Josh Harris to mop things up against the Carolina Panthers. Those two are more than likely competing for a spot on the practice squad so we’ll stay with the obvious three on the 53 man roster.

Fullbacks (1)Will Johnson

Analysis: I sure hope that Johnson can get a few snaps in Thursday night after missing the last two preseason games with a hamstring injury.

Wide Receivers (6)Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Martavis Bryant, Justin Brown, Darrius Heyward-Bey

Analysis: Is Heyward-Bey now more of a lock right now to make the final roster than Justin Brown? It sure looks like it based on the comments made Tuesday by head coach Mike Tomlin. Thursday night’s game figures to be key for both and Heyward-Bey is the better special teams player. This week I’ll say that both will make it.

Tight Ends (3)Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, Michael Palmer

Analysis: This is one of the toughest decisions right now when it comes to predicting the final 53 man roster. I still don’t think that Rob Blanchflower has shown enough to be considered here so that leaves us with Palmer and Paulson. Will this be a decision that Danny Smith makes? If so, Palmer appears to be the better special teams player of the two and the better blocker to boot. I’m so confused.

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

Analysis: Mike Munchak wants nine so I will continue to give him nine. I sure wish that eight and nine were better choices.

Defense (25)

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

Analysis: Undrafted free agent Josh Mauro should get a lot of burn Thursday night, but much like Brian Arnfelt last year, I believe he’s headed for the practice squad.

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

Analysis: I’m glad it looks like Spence will be fine as his injury really could have shaken up the depth and roster.

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

Analysis: With Vic So’oto now gone, Carter’s path to the final 53 has gotten a little bit easier. Undrafted free agent Howard Jones really needs a strong game Thursday night on special teams. For now, I will put him back on the practice squad until I see what he does.

Cornerbacks (5)Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Antwon Blake, Brice McCain

Analysis: Will rookie draft pick Shaquille Richardson get to play Thursday night? It’s hard to judge a player that’s played all of 19 snaps during the preseason. It looks like he’s headed to the practice squad.

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

Analysis: It sounds like Allen might play Thursday night after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury.

Specialists (4)

Kicker (1)Shaun Suisham

Analysis: Suisham got a new deal so he isn’t going anywhere.

Punter (1)Brad Wing

Analysis: Tomlin still seems to fine with Wing, for now.

Long Snapper (2)Greg Warren, Bryce Davis

Analysis: Luke Ingram is gone so that leaves Davis to make the roster if Warren is not healthy by the season opener. I am not going to pretend to be a doctor, but for right now I have to carry two long snappers.

Practice Squad (10)Stephen Houston, Nick Williams, Rob Blanchflower, Landry Jones, Chris Hubbard, Josh Mauro, Jordan Zumwalt, Shaquille Richardson, Howard Jones, Vic So’oto

Analysis: I’m keeping all three draft picks that have failed to make my final 53. Mauro and Jones should be pretty self explanatory as well. They kept Williams for a reason, right? Hubbard looks destined to return and like So’oto’s chances of returning as well.

2014 Steelers 53 Man Roster Prediction Post Second Preseason Game Edition

Roethlisberger, BenQB
Gradkowski, BruceQB
Brown, AntonioWR
Wheaton, MarkusWR
Moore, LanceWR
Bryant, MartavisWR
Brown, JustinWR
Heyward-Bey, DariusWR
Miller, HeathTE
Spaeth, MattTE
Palmer, MichaelTE
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, WesleyC/G/T
Taylor, IkeCB
Allen, CortezCB
Gay, WilliamCB
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
Warren, GregLS
Ingram, LukeLS
Suisham, ShaunK
Wing, BradP
Jones, LandryQB
Houston, StephenRB
Richardson, ShaquilleCB
Jones, HowardLB
Mauro, JoshDE
So’oto, VicOLB
Blanchflower, RobTE
Williams, NickDE
Hubbard, ChrisG
Zumwalt, JordanILB

  • steeltown

    This is EXACTLY what my 53man roster looks like as we sit here today, even the practice squad is the same.

    Im not happy about Carter making the Team, but like Bryan mentioned, with So’oto gone Carter will most likely make the club by default. When/if Warren returns and Davis is released I’d promote one of the OLB to the roster and sign either Dangerfield or Moye (if available) or Kashif Moore to the PS

  • Ben Saluri

    Still have to think OlB and corner depth, will come from waiver wire.

  • chris ward

    Looks like the Steelers will carry 6 WR’s on the 53, Tomlin seemed pleased with Heyward-Bey’s special teams capabilities.

  • chris ward

    I hope Palmer makes the roster over Paulson.

  • Tanner Blackman

    Say Warren comes back what position would you add another player to?

  • sweetleb

    I like houston over j.brown, need 3 true rb on 53. pausen over palmer ,pass catcher over blocking te, after all it is 2014 right. will have a new punter before opening day.

  • Steelers12328882

    I’d say this is pretty spot on, but I’d love to see the Steelers sign Harrison and cut Carter, or HoJo have such an incredible game Thursday that the Steelers can’t afford to cut him. I’d also like to see Blanchflower perform his way onto the roster, but I’d agree Palmer is ahead of Paulson. One change I’d make is to keep and extra NT on the PS and ditch So’oto. That would probably be Roy Philon.

  • steeltown

    With McL, C.Thomas and McCullers all on roster, why keep an extra NT on the squad?

  • Mark_K

    I see the starting Oline pretty straightforward. Adams as the backup tackle is easy, Wallace the center. Seems like if a guard were to be out a week the next choice would be Hubbard or Wallace. If they’ve never even seen W Johnson line up against a first team DL why not keep Hubbard on the active roster?

  • joed32

    Good list! My only difference is that I think 6 WRs and Archer is too many. I think Jones will be out unless he lights it up tomorrow.

  • Steelers12328882

    Either way I don’t think So’oto is brought back at all, and I had to add someone. Zumwalt and HoJo are just fine for the PS. If not a NT maybe another CB or OL.

  • steeltown

    So’oto would be on my 53man over Carter if I had my way. He plays the run well, sets the edge, provides pressure and obviously had a couple ‘splash’ plays with the 2FF

  • Steelers12328882

    I just don’t have an answer for backup OLB. After Carter’s last performance nothing makes sense to me.

  • Taylor20

    Still have Brendon Kay on the roster. I think he takes over the PS QB spot from Landry

  • I agree with the point below that 6 WRs + Archer (+ TEs as well) seems like one too many. As long as DHB solidifies his spot on Thursday, based on the positive things Tomlin has had to say about him recently I just don’t see any need to keep J. Brown around, and so he may be bound for the PS.

    Speaking of which, is it crazy that I’m actually excited about what this projected PS looks like (except for Landry Jones, of course)? A lot of upside there, especially HoJo, Mauro, So’oto, Blanchflower, and Richardson, with potential promotions to the 53 at some point. Maybe Moye or Dangerfield returns as well.

    No idea about the third TE. But in addition to seeing what Landry Jones has to offer (if anything), the thing I’m looking forward to most against the Panthers is the battle (assuming it really is one) between Carter and HoJo. I’m probably not as anti-Carter as many on here, but it would be nice for one of them to emergy as the definitive guy. And I guess it would also be nice to see something positive from Blanchflower and Richardson, if possible, as I’m hoping both play a key role for this team for years to come.

  • treeher

    Maybe I’m getting tired of looking at the names, but at this point I am very uninspired by the defense. I see many more question marks than sure things, and I don’t see where they’ve improved over last year except at IL. We will have to average 28 points a game with these guys defending us.

  • steeltown


    Tuitt, C.Thomas, McCullers, Mauro > Hood, Woods, Fangupo, Arnfelt

  • Steelers12328882

    If Landry, JB, Blanchflower, Mauro, HoJo and Shaq Richardson aren’t good enough for the 53, players like Chris Carter just being horrible and with an older vet like Will Allen barely hanging on I’m having some real trouble finding 53 players for this team. Adding to that trouble is the fact we’ll drop one of the LS soon.

  • CW

    Personally I think that you might only have two or three wrong on this whole roster and one of those is more of a who gets cut elsewhere thing at punter.

    Brad Wing barring a real elite performance and the right cuts elsewhere could easily be the first off on the current seasonal roster.

    After that Will Allen really has shown his age lately and could be gone soon too.

    Wesley Johnson, personally is just a place holder until all the cuts are made I believe. Some other team is going to cut someone who is a little further along and Johnson makes a lot of sense as a practice squad player to develop for next year.

    Also when Greg Warren is healthy again I expect either HoJo or So’oto will get promoted to the roster for their special teams ability when the extra long snapper cut is made.

  • steeltown

    No doubt

  • Brian Miller

    I sure wish we would take a look at some other cuts from other teams. Navjar and jeff oat come to mind. And there has to be someone better than Whimper that we can groom…there just has to be!

  • Alan Felicia

    Wow, you saw all that from So’oto! Wonder what Coach Porter, Butler, LeBeau, and Tomlin were looking at.

  • joed32

    You’re cutting McClendon?

  • steeltown

    I assume they like Carter more than So’oto on special teams, but I don’t know

  • steeltown

    No, just stating the improvements from this year to last

  • dgh57

    In any area we need depth so OL, OLB, CB would be good.

  • joed32

    Sorry, I missed the right arrow, I thought you wanted to keep those 7. Totally agree with the improvement.

  • Bradys_Dad

    I think that that’s the problem – it’s all status quo across the entire roster. 8 and 8 here we come !

  • Burgh Ball

    C.Thomas -especially at the NT – brings this new group down – He’s looked bad as a NT – There is a reason San Diego was like 30th in the league vs the Run last year… some of that has to do with the play of C.Thomas. I’d rather see him at the DE spot – and use McLendon and Big Dan at NT

  • Bradys_Dad

    Sunday at noon – that’s when the bell tolls ! Lord I hope we sign Vic and Hojo to the PS.

  • Thomas is a better NT than DE, IMO.

  • Putter

    Yes, you’re crazy to be excited about the practice squad (tongue-in-cheek)

    But you are right – I don’t think they can keep 6 Receivers. They only play (at most) 3 of them at a time and Archer needs to get the ball.
    (and there is still only one football)
    I also don’t necessarily believe that DHB will be kept for his special teams skills. Looks like we have good gunners already? (Blake, Shamarko, Mcclain, Golden, etc)

  • treeher

    Well, yet to be seen – maybe next year, but not in 2014. Two drafted rookies and an undrafted one along with an off season acquisition of a guy who couldn’t hold a starting position and is surely fill-in material.

  • steeltown

    Yea its a work in progress, on paper it looks much improved but only time will tell

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I just do not like the way the depth chart looks at HB. The waiver wire should be hit right after final cuts. Then u put Justin Brown back on the PS

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Molls has looked better than Zumwalt. It looks to me Zumwalt maybe not even makes anything but the unemployment line.