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Predicting the 53 man roster: Version 2

The Pittsburgh Steelers report to training camp today, so it's time to update the roster predictions.  The team has stayed relatively healthy through the offseason thus far.  That combined with very few moves since the draft mean not much has changed since version one.  There have been a few however, so here we go.

Quarterback (3) -  Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Joshua Dobbs

Breakdown – The quarterback situation has been set since draft day.  Mike Tomlin has always kept three quarterbacks on his roster, and this year will be no different.

Running back (3) – Le'veon Bell, James Conner, Knile Davis

Breakdown – This is another position set in stone.  Short of an injury, these are the backs the Steelers will break camp with in 2017.

Full back (1) – Roosevelt Nix

Breakdown – Nix is the guy, end of story here.

Tight end  (3) – Jesse James, David Johnson, Phazahn Odom

Breakdown – With the unexpected release of Ladarius Green, the tight end position is a bit unsettled.  James and Johnson are locks.  The extra reps created by Green's absence will allow Odom to better showcase his talents.  Look or him to beat out Xavier Grimble for the final tight end spot.

Wide receiver (6) -  Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Sammie Coates, Justin Hunter, Eli Rogers

Breakdown – This should be the most competitive position group on the team.  There are 9 capable players for only 6 positions.  In version one, I had the sixth spot coming down to Sammie Coates and Darius Heyward-Bey.  I still believe Coates will win out in the end, but his recent knee scope will put him behind.

Offensive line (8) – Alejandro Villanueva, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, B.J. Finney, Chris Hubbard, Jerald Hawkins

Breakdown – The five starters may be the best in the business.  The depth is also very good.  Not much to quibble about these eight players.

Defensive line (6) – Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu, L.T. Walton, Daniel McCullers

Breakdown – While I'd love to find a replacement for Daniel McCullers, there doesn't seem to be one on the roster.  The Steelers did not bring in any capable replacement for the underachieving McCullers.  Newly acquired Tyson Alualu should be able to keep the snaps down for Heyward and Tuitt.

Inside linebacker (5) – Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams, L.J. Fort, Tyler Matakevich, Stevie Johnson

Breakdown – In version one, I had thought the Steelers might bring in a veteran backup to bolster this group.  That didn't happen so the same five remain.  A good deal of the special teams comes from this group as well.

Outside linebacker (5) – James Harrison, Bud Dupree, T.J. Watt, Anthony Chickillo, Keion Adams

Breakdown – The only real battle here is between veteran Arthur Moats and rookie Keion Adams.  I give a leg up to the younger, cheaper Adams in this battle.  If he can become an asset on special teams, this will become an easy decision for Mike Tomlin.

Corner back (6) – Artie Burns, Ross Cockrell, Cam Sutton, Coty Sensabaugh, Senquez Golson, Brian Allen

Breakdown – Veteran William Gay is in real danger of losing his roster spot.  If the oft-injured Senquez Golson can stay upright and prove his worth, it should spell the end of the line for Gay.

Safety (4) – Sean Davis, Mike Mitchell, Robert Golden, Daimion Stafford

Breakdown – This is another position I predicted the Steelers would add another veteran, and this time I was right.  Daimion Stafford should play his way onto the roster.  It will come at the expense of Jordan Dangerfield, with Robert Golden being too valuable a special teams player.

Kickers (2) – Jordan Berry, Chris Boswell

Breakdown – Is this the best kicking tandem in Steeler history?  It very well may be and they are locks for the 53 man roster.

Long snapper (1) -  Colin Holba

Breakdown – Now that old faithful Greg Warren has been released, Holba  will go unchallenged for the long-snapper job.

 

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