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Steelers 53 man roster prediction: Version two

OFFENSE: (25)

QUARTERBACK: (3) Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges

Ever since the Steelers brought in Devlin Hodges as a undrafted free agent, I have had a funny feeling about this player. So far through the pre-season, Hodges has done nothing to disappoint. Look for the Steelers to try to move Dobbs for a sixth or seventh round pick in order to keep Hodges as their third string quarterback.

RUNNINGBACKS: (4) James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell, Rosie Nix

No changes, or surprises in this group. This has been set in stone pretty much since draft day.

WIDE RECEIVERS: (6) Ju Ju Smith-Schuster, Donte Moncrief, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Eli Rogers, Diontae Spencer

I called my shot in version one, and I’m sticking with it. Diontae Spencer will do enough in the return game to win him a job on this team. He’s well on his way with the performance he had against Kansas City the other night. Spencer is a far better returner than Ryan Switzer, and not too far off him as a receiver.

OFFENSIVE LINE: (9) Alejandro Villanueva, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Matt Feiler, BJ Finney, Chuks Okorafor, Zach Banner, Fred Johnson

This is the deepest position on the entire roster. We think Matt Feiler is a shoe in for the right tackle spot, but the fact he hasn’t played there yet in pre-season is a bit curious. Zach Banner has a clear lead on Jerald Hawkins in the tackle pecking order. Hawkins is in danger of being cut outright at this point.

TIGHT END: (3) Vance McDonald, Xavier Grimble, TBA

We go from the deepest position, to the thinnest position at tight end. As in version one, I am holding out for Kevin Colbert to bring in a player outside the organization before the start of the season. There’s no way the Steelers can go into the season with an injury prone Vance McDonald, and the cast of characters behind him. Look for a move shortly as injuries to Zach Gentry and Christian Scotland-Williamson have only made the situation worse.

DEFENSE: (25)

DEFENSIVE LINE: (6) Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu, Dan McCullers, Isaiah Buggs

The last spot among the defensive lineman may have been up for grabs to start out with, but not anymore. Isaiah Buggs has been very good, and the rest haven’t done anything to challenge him. Barring injury, this group is set.

INSIDE LINEBACKER: (5) Vince Williams, Mark Barron, Devin Bush, Tyler Matakevich, Ullysees Gilbert III

The only news here is that rookie Ullysees Gilbert’s play has made him a good bet to make the roster. His athleticism has really shown so far this pre-season. He will be mainly on special teams at first, but the Steelers may have something here going forward at inside linebacker.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: (5) TJ Watt, Bud Dupree, Anthony Chickillo, Ola Adeniyi, Tuzar Skipper

The injury to Adeniyi has opened the door for Tuzar Skipper to make this roster, at least initially. Skipper has been impressive so far with his pass rush. It would take a minor miracle for Sutton Smith to surpass Skipper at this point. He has simply missed too much time due to injury. Even making the practice squad is a stretch for Smith unless he can get himself back onto the field. These final two pre-season games are crucial in determining his future with the team.

CORNER: (6) Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Artie Burns, Justin Layne, Mike Hilton, Cam Sutton

Artie Burns has fought his way back to at least the third corner. With his continued improvement, this may be the deepest group of corners the Steelers have had in years. Brian Allen is the odd man out at this stage, but things can change over the next two weeks.

SAFETY: (3) Sean Davis, Terrell Edmunds, Jordan Dangerfield

To start the season, the Steelers may end up going with three safeties. They can do this knowing both Cam Sutton or Mike Hilton could play there in a pinch. Once Ola Adeniyi is fully recovered from his injury, the team can then make some roster moves at inside linebacker or offensive line to make room for another safety. There is still a possibility that Colbert is planning on brining in another veteran if one shakes loose during roster cuts.

SPECIAL TEAMS: (3)

K – Chris Boswell

P – Jordan Berry

LS – Kameron Canaday

The team brought in competition in the kicking game, but none played well enough to unseat the incumbents. Good to see Boswell seemingly back to his old self again. His return to form will be huge for this team in 2019.

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