Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have played two preseason games we have a decent idea about where they stand on the majority of the roster. With week three being the dress rehearsal, most starters will see the field for the majority of the game.
It is not a good chance for players to move up and down the depth chart. Most rosters are set with the exception of one or two spots heading into Week four as well. So, knowing what we know, and knowing that there will be limited chances from here on, how does the roster look?
Quarterback (3): Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Mason Rudolph
The quarterback situation has likely been set since day one. Joshua Dobbs has made up some ground, but that is likely only helping his case for waivers.
Running back (5): Le’Veon Bell, Jaylen Samuels, James Conner, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Roosevelt Nix
The running back position is going to be interesting to watch. After two preseason games, it is starting to look like Le’Veon Bell, James Conner, Roosevelt Nix and Fitzgerald Toussaint have become locks. We wrote about Toussaint being a winner and providing regarding pass protection and the return game. That appears to be enough to get him in.
While it does look as if they are going to keep five backs, the question becomes do they keep Stevan Ridley or Jaylen Samuels. The rookie Samuels played well on Thursday night, but Ridley got the night off. Was that with the assurance that he had a good lead on a roster spot? Samuels was just a fifth-round pick who could clear waivers. For now, he has the slight edge, but Week Three will be telling.
Wide Receiver (5): Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Marcus Tucker, Darrius Heyward-Bey
The Steelers top the receivers are going to be locked in. Darrius Heyward-Bey is going to be getting a roster spot with his veteran value and special teams ability. The question becomes, do they keep one or two more receivers and who do they keep? Tucker has excelled on special teams and as a blocker. Hunter has failed to get on the same page as Ben Roethlisberger in camp and has been unable to make an impact as a starter. Tucker should have the edge.
Tight End (3): Vance McDonald, Jesse James, Xavier Grimble
Tight end should be cut and dry, but it is not. Vance McDonald has yet to see the field in about a month now. Heading into the third preseason game, if he is not healthy, there is a good chance the team will have to carry a fourth tight end if he is inactive. That would be Bucky Hodges and Pharoah McKever. That would open up a giant can of worms when it comes to what position they would take away from to fill tight end depth.
Offensive Line (8): Alejandro Villanueva, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, Matt Feiler, Chukwuma Okorafor, B.J. Finney
This position has been rather cut and dry throughout the first two weeks as well. Jake Rodgers, R.J. Prince and Zach Banner may make practice squad cases, but that is the most of their chances.
Defensive Line (6): Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Tyson Alualu, L.T. Walton, Daniel McCullers
In our first prediction, Dan McCullers was on the outside looking in. However, through two preseason games, it is quite apparent that he is firmly sitting on the inside. He even started over Javon Hargrave, although that may be a small reward for his improved play.
Linebacker (10): T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Anthony Chickillo, Keion Adams, Ola Adeniyi, Vince Williams, Jon Bostic, Tyler Matakevich, Matthew Thomas. L.J. Fort
We came into training camp wondering who would be behind Anthony Chickillo in the pecking order at outside linebacker. Keion Adams, Ola Adeniyi, and Farrington Huguenin have shown enough for the team to consider keeping two of the three. For the time being, we have Huguenin on the outside looking in.
Defensive back (10): Sean Davis, Morgan Burnett, Terrell Edmunds, Nat Berhe, Jordan Dangerfield, Artie Burns, Joe Haden, Cameron Sutton, Mike Hilton, Brian Allen
Heading into camp, rookie fifth-round draft pick Marcus Allen was in our 53-man projection. However, he has been buried on the depth chart and sits behind Malik Golden and Jordan Dangerfield. Dangerfield has shown on special teams and has made the roster before. He gets in for the time being. The team also has a tough decision to make between Coty Sensabaugh and Brian Allen