It’s still early on in the process, but let’s take a stab at what could be the Steelers final 53 man roster. A good portion of the roster is pretty much set for 2019. Still, there will be some interesting battles for the final roster spots. Here’s how we see it playing out so far:
QUARTERBACK: Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges (3)
Here’s a little prediction for you…..the Steelers will trade Josh Dobbs before the pre-season is over. The main reason why they kept Dobbs over Landry Jones in the first place is trade value. Dobbs will have another impressive pre-season, and bring the Steelers a mid to late round draft pick in a deal.
RUNNING BACK: James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell (3)
This is the easiest group to predict on the entire team. Want another prediction? Benny Snell could very well emerge the starter out of this group come week one.
FULLBACK: Roosevelt Nicks (1)
Not much to say here, Nix is the unchallenged fullback for 2019.
WIDE RECEIVER: Ju Ju Smith Schuster, DonteMoncrief, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Ryan Switzer, Diontae Spencer (6)
Little surprise here, Diontae Spencer beats out Eli Rogers for the final spot at wide receiver. Spencer’s speed and return ability give the Steelers a skill set they don’t have in any other receiver.
TIGHT END: Vance McDonald, Xavier Grimble/ Zach Gentry, TBA (3)
Perhaps the weakest position on the team, there will be an addition at some point during the off-season. That would leave Gentry and Grimble battling for the third tight end spot.
O-LINE: Alejandro Villanueva, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncy, David DeCastro, Chukwuma Okorafor, Matt Feiler, BJ Finley, Zach Banner (8)
This is a very deep group. The battle for the reserve spots will come down to the wire for sure.
D-LINE: Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu, Daniel McCullers, Isaiah Buggs (6)
Once again Daniel McCullers will make the roster mainly because a lack of competition at the position. Defensive line is definitely a position the Steelers will have to address early in next year’s draft.
INSIDE LB: Vince Williams, Mark Barron, Devin Bush, Ulysses Gilbert, Tyler Matakevich (5)
Marl Barron was signed as insurance in case Kevin Colbert couldn’t pull off a trade to get Devin Bush. Not really sure he will be happy with a backup role once Bush takes over. It may be one season and done for the free agent signee.
OUTSIDE LB: TJ Watt, Bud Dupree, Anthony Chickillo, Ola Adeniyi, Sutton Smith (5)
Depth is an issue at this position. Prey there are no injuries to any of the starters here. Anthony Chickillo is an excellent special teams player, but not a good pass rusher at all. There is much enthusiasm for Ola Adneiyi, but let’s remember he was a former undrafted free agent who played very little last season.
CORNERS: Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Justin Layne, Artie Burns, Mike Hilton, Cam Sutton (6)
Many people are writing off Artie Burns making the final 53, but not so fast. Tomlin and Colbert will be unwilling to admit their mistake with this first round pick just yet. They will give Burns every opportunity to make the team this season.
SAFETIES: Sean Davis, Terrell Edmunds, Marcus Allen, Jordan Dangerfield (4)
This is another position that may need some outside help. For now these four are the most viable candidates to make the final 53.
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
K: Chris Boswell
P: Jordan Berry
LS: Kameron Kennedy
Boswell has the most to lose with a bad training camp. His shaky 2018 has left him vulnerable. Having said that, he should still be the kicker come week one.