With the mandatory mini-camp now over, the Steelers head out for a period of downtime prior to reporting to Training Camp at St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe. While there is a tremendous amount of stuff to still play out, I’m going to take a shot at the 53-man roster. Remember, some of these are nothing more than gut feelings with little to go on other than ‘football in pajamas.’
Quarterbacks (2) – Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski
Running Backs (5) – Le’Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams, Will Johnson, Dri Archer, Josh Harris
Wide Receivers (5) – Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton, Sammie Coates, Darrius Heyward-Bey
Tight Ends (4) – Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, Jesse James, Cameron Clear
Offensive Line (8) – Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Kelvin Beachum, Marcus Gilbert, Mike Adams, Cody Wallace, Alejandro Villanueva
The major question of course is how Mike Tomlin chooses to address the running back situation. Assuming that Bell is suspended for all three games or even just two, Tomlin and Todd Haley must decide how to move forward. Right now, I have to believe Josh Harris will be added to the roster.
I’m not sure where to list Dri Archer; running back or receiver. I’m convinced they’ll try to find a way to keep on the active roster though.
Knowing the Steelers also put in a waiver claim on former New England tight end Tim Wright, that leads me to believe that they will look for another veteran throughout the summer as teams reduce their rosters.
The other big issue is on the offensive line where the team must make a decision with Mike Adams entering his fourth season. That, plus the fact that the team needs to have quality depth on the interior, leave me with some serious questions here.
Defensive Line (6) – Steve McLendon, Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Daniel McCullers, L.T. Walton, Clifton Geathers
Inside Linebackers (5) – Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams, Sean Spence, Jordan Zumwalt
Outside Linebackers (5) – Bud Dupree, James Harrison, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats, Howard Jones
Cornerbacks (5) – Cortez Allen, Senquez Golson, Doran Grant, William Gay, Antwon Blake
Safeties (5) – Shamarko Thomas, Mike Mitchell, Will Allen, Rob Golden, Ross Ventrone
Specialists (3) – Shaun Suisham, Brad Wing, Greg Warren
Lots of possibilities on defense here and that makes it difficult to nail down anything. I believe Jordan Zumwalt makes the roster for two reasons; one is that he can play both inside and outside and two, he can play special teams as well.
I was very hesitant to place two rookie corners on the roster but everything I’ve heard and seen tells me they are on track. Safety is also a difficult call because I really like Alden Darby but I’m not sure where he fits. The wild-card here is also rookie Gerod Holliman who had a very good mini-camp.
I think the Steelers desperately want someone to push out the under-performing Cam Thomas and I feel Geathers and Walton do that on the DL..