The Pittsburgh Steelers begin training camp practices today. That means it is time for our second try at guessing the Steelers 53 man roster. A lot can still change between now and the first game of the season, but we have a pretty good idea what this team will look like. Let’s get right into it:
Quarterbacks – (2) Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett
We believe the plan at quarterback is for Mitch Trubisky to start at least initially, while Kenny Pickett serves as the backup. Mason Rudolph is a fallback option in case of injury. He should be traded, or be among the last cuts of training camp. Chris Oladokun will spend the season on the practice squad.
Running Backs – (3) Najee Harris, Benny Snell, Jeremy McNichols
The first two spots in this position are set. Najee Harris is the undisputed starter, while Benny Snell offers too much in special teams to be threatened on this roster. The third back on this roster will be among the fiercest battles in camp. Anthony McFarland, Mateo Durant, and newcomer Jeremy McNichols will all be in contention to be the third running back on this team. https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/steelers-sign-jeremy-mcnichols-to-one-year-deal-release-fellow-rb-trey-edmunds-as-team-opens-training-camp/
Look for McNichols to ultimately win out here. He to seems to have exactly the type of skill set to thrive in a Matt Canada style offense.
Fullback – (1) Derek Watt
Not that there was any competition before, but now that Trey Edmunds is gone it’s Derek Watt and Derek Watt only at fullback. Done and done.
Wide Reciever – (6) Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, George Pickens, Calvin Austin, Miles Boykin, Gunner Olszewski
This is the deepest the Steelers have been at wide receiver in some time. The only real drama here is the battle for the sixth spot between Miles Boykin and Anthony Miller. The Boykin signing could be one of sneaky best of the off-season by Kevin Colbert. He should win the job easily this summer.
Offensive LIne – (9) Dan Moore Jr., James Daniels, Mason Cole, Kevin Dotson, Chuks Okorafor, Kendrick Green, JC Hassenhauer, Joe Haeg, John Leglue
The starting five should be Moore, Daniels, Cole, Dotson, Okorafor. It would seem that Green, Hassenhauer and Haeg are safe for the Steelers 53 man roster as well. We desperately want to see this team add another veteran tackle to the mix. For now Leglue will be the ninth offensive lineman barring any late additions.
Tight Ends – (3) Pat Freiermuth, Zach Gentry, Conner Heyward
Freiermuth and Gentry give the Steelers an excellent one two punch at tight end. Whether you classify him a fullback, a running back, or a tight end Conner Heyward is making this team.
Defensive Line – (6) Cam Heyward, Larry Ogunjobi, Montravius Adams, Isaiahh Loudermilk, Chris Wormley, DeMarvin Leal
We correctly predicted in our first crack at this roster that Stephon Tuitt would not be on this team in 2022. Steelers 53 man roster prediction: The way too early one
This time around we are going to call our shot by saying that Tyson Alualu will start the season on IR. He is already on the PUP list with swelling in his knee. Because of this, Montravius Adams is a lock to make this team as he is the only viable backup at nose tackle. He may end up with the bulk of the snaps at the nose this season.
Inside Linebackers – (5) Myles Jack, Devin Bush, Robert Spillane, Ulysses Gilbert III, Buddy Johnson
The first four are virtual locks to make this roster. Buddy Johnson on the other hand is very much on the bubble. Not only will he be pushed by 7th round pick Mark Robinson, Johnson may also be affected by other roster needs. If the team needs to keep an extra player at another position, it could very well be at Buddy Johnson’s expense.
Outside Linebackers – (5) TJ Watt, Alex Highsmith, Genard Avery, Derek Tuszka, TBA
The Steelers may have the best pass rush combination in the entire league. What comes after them is cause for concern however. Derek Tuszka and Genard Avery are not a viable duo as pass rushers. This has to be a position where a veteran is brought in from the outside at some point in camp…..has to be.
Corners – (6) Akhello Witherspoon, Levi Wallace, Cam Sutton, Justin Layne, Tre Norwood, Chis Steele
Witherspoon, Sutton, and Wallace are the starters, after that it’s anyone’s guess. Layne is an asset on special teams, so he’s in. Norwood had a fine rookie season, he should be safe. We are shooting our shot here and predicting un-drafted free agent Chris Steele wins the final spot at corner. There is plenty of athleticism here, something James Pierre very much lacks.
Safety – (5) Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds, Miles Killebrew, Demontae Kazee, Marcus Allen
Newcomer Demontae Kazee gives this team some needed depth at free safety behind Minkah Fitzpatrick. Marcus Allen can be a safety, a linebacker, and most importantly a outstanding special teamer. This a as solid as any position group on this team.
Special Teams (3)
K Chris Boswell, P Pressley Harvin, LS Christian Kuntz
Not much here other than Pressley Harvin can not afford a slow start. He struggled most of last season, and we can’t imagine he has too long of a leash.