With the preseason now over I’m offering up my final 53-man roster projection for the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers. There are a few changes from last week.
Quarterbacks (3) – Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Josh Dobbs
My Thinking: Rudolph proved overwhelmingly why he’s the primary backup all preseason and again in Carolina. That race is over. Last time I really thought Devlin Hodges would benefit from sound play and the team trading Dobbs but I’m less confident in that now.
Running Backs (4) – James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell, Roosevelt Nix
My Thinking: Last week this was easily my most confident position group. I’m less confident this week because Snell is just not impressing me as a runner. He lacks burst and gets taken down much too easy in one-on-one situations. I still think he makes it but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised to see him beaten out.
Tight Ends (3) – Vance McDonald, Xavier Grimble, Player To Be Determined via Trade or Waivers
My Thinking: I just cannot for the life of me see the Steelers going int the season without something better at the third or even second tight end position. Therefore I’m predicting a move coming.
Offensive Line (9) – Alejandro Villanueva, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Matt Feiler, B.J. Finney, Chuks Okorafor, Fred Johnson, Zach Banner
My Thinking: No changes here from last week.
Wide Receivers (6) – JuJu Smith-Schuster, Donte Moncrief, James Washington, Ryan Switzer, Diontae Johnson, Eli Rogers
My Thinking: I learned many years ago while studying the Steelers in the preseason that you can never take week four performances too seriously. Johnny Holton had a terrific night in Carolina and I think he’s deserving of a shot but Mike Tomlin likes the “known” and that means Eli Rogers makes it.
Defensive Line (5) – Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu, Dan McCullers
My Thinking: I had Isaiah Buggs making it last week but with injury issues at OLB I think they go with just five defensive lineman to start the season. Buggs moves to the Practice Squad.
Linebackers (10)- T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Anthony Chickillo, Ola Adeniyi, Devin Bush, Vince Williams, Mark Barron, Tyler Matakevic, Ulysees Gilbert, Tuzar Skipper
My Thinking: I am all aboard the Skipper Train. With both Ola Adeniyi and Anthony Chickillo battling injuries he is needed. I also believe Ulysees Gilbert is too athletic and talented to risk putting on the Practice Squad.
Defensive Backs (10) – Sean Davis, Terrell Edmunds, Artie Burns, Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Mike Hilton, Justin Layne, Cam Sutton, Kam Kelly, Jordan Dangerfield
My Thinking: No change from last week. It would not surprise me however to see some movement in the way of a safety acquisition however.
Long Snapper (1) – Kam Canaday
Punter (1) – Jordan Berry
Place Kicker (1) – Chris Boswell
My Thinking: Status Quo.