It’s still a little early in the process, but we are ready to take the first crack at our Pittsburgh Steelers 53 man roster prediction. Most of the off-season moves have been completed at his point. Having said that, we still expect a veteran or two to be added to this roster in the coming months. Here is our best guess as to who the final 53 will be:
Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins
No surprises here. Joshua Dobbs was brought in strictly to make sure Haskins isn’t too comfortable early in the pre-season. Hopefully Haskins will be able to push Mason Rudolph for the backup quarterback job on this team.
Running Backs (3):
Najee Harris, Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland
It’s ride or die with Najee Harris for the 2021 season. The Steelers did the unconventional, drafted a running back in the first round. The only way this pick is justified is if Harris absolutely kills his rookie season. Look for Mike Tomlin to run the tires off their new offensive weapon.
Wide Receivers (5):
Ju Ju Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, James Washington, Ray Ray McCloud
This is pretty much the exact same group the team ran with all of last season. McCloud would be the only vulnerable one of this group. When you consider how valuable his return abilities are though, this five is a lock barring injury.
Tight Ends (3):
Eric Ebron, Pat Freiermuth, Jesse James
Like a lot of Steelers media, we find it hard to believe old friend Jesse James won’t find his way on the roster at some point his off-season. We are actually surprised it hasn’t happened already. If it doesn’t ever happen, Kevin Radar is the most likely third tight end candidate.
Full Back (1)
Perhaps now that Matt Canada is in charge of the offense we will finally see something out of Derek Watt. So far he has just been a fairly expensive special teams player for the Steelers.
Offensive Line (9)
Chuks Okorafor, David DeCastro, BJ Finney, Kevin Dotson, Zach Banner, Kendrick Green, Dan Moore, Joe Haeg, Rashaad Coward
What a difference a year makes. This group has had the most change over last year, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. One could make a good argument that the fate of the 2021 season depends on how well this unit comes together.
Defensive Line (6):
Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu, Chris Wormley, Isaiahh Loudermilk, Henry Mondeaux
The Steelers invested quite a bit of draft capital in Isaiahh Loudermilk. https://steelersnow.com/steelers-trade-up-to-draft-wisconsin-de-isaiahh-loudermilk-in-fifth-round-of-2021-nfl-draft/ They seem to see something in him most draft experts don’t. Unless he completely falls on his face, Loudermilk is a near lock to make this roster.
Inside Linebackers (4):
Devin Bush, Robert Spillane, Buddy Johnson, Marcus Allen
Unfortunately we have to say goodbye to once again to old buddy Vince Williams. The league has evolved to the point where it is no longer necessary to have multiple run-stuffing linebackers on the roster. Robert Spillane is younger, and better at that position. With Williams special teams days far behind him, he will be on the outside looking in come final cuts.
Outside Linebackers (5):
TJ Watt, Alex Highsmith, Cassius Marsh, Quincy Roche, TBD
This another one of those position groups that we feel like the Steelers will add a veteran to at some point. With the remaining free agents being slim at best, look for Kevin Colbert to be watching other teams roster cuts very closely to pick up a veteran edge rusher.
Joe Haden, Cam Sutton, James Pierre, Justin Layne, Arthur Maulet, Shakur Brown
The losses of Steven Nelson, and Mike Hilton really took its toll on the depth at corner. Lots of questions about this group heading into the season. Aside from offensive line, this is the second biggest question mark on the team. We do however like Shakur Brown to win this team’s slot corner position. He is a sleeper to become a standout player in his rookie season.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terell Edmunds, Antoine Brooks Jr., Miles Killabrew, Tre Norwood
Tre Norwood got some work at safety during rookie mini-camp last week. This bodes well for him to win a spot as a slot corner/safety type player. It’s dangerous to include every draft choice on a final roster prediction as it rarely works out that way. Given the Steelers depth issues at both safety and corner, we believe its a good bet this is how it shakes out.
K – Chris Boswell, P – Pressley Harvin, LS – Kameron Canaday
We prediction the demise of Jordan Berry to a rookie punter in our Pittsburgh Steelers 53 man roster prediction last season, but we were a year too early. Meet the Steelers 2020 punter: Corliss Waitman This year we are quite certain that Pressley Harvin is finally the man that sends Berry packing for good.