With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ second preseason game in the book, Alan Saunders and Nick Farabaugh took their best shot at predicting the Steelers’ 53-man roster for the 2022 season. Here is their first prediction after last week’s game.
Quarterback (3): Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph, Kenny Pickett
Despite continued rumors about Mason Rudolph possibly being traded and Kenny Pickett continuing to impress, we’re still keeping all three quarterbacks in this projection.
Running back (4): Najee Harris, Benny Snell Jr., Anthony McFarland Jr., Jaylen Warren
This has gone from Jaylen Warren looking like he has a chance to making the team, to Warren looking like he might be the best of the bunch able to backup Najee Harris. Derek Watt continues to be a tough cut, but Benny Snell brings his special teams ability while also providing more value to the offense. Watt having not been able to practice to this point hasn’t helped his case at all, either.
Wide receiver (6): Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, George Pickens, Calvin Austin III, Gunner Olszewski, Miles Boykin
Even after the season-ending injury to Anthony Miller, this continues to be a tough position to cut from. Miles Boykin hasn’t been as good the last couple week as he was the first few of camp, and Steven Sims has been coming on strong. Sims is probably the 54th player on this roster, and his perceived easier trip through waivers was a reason to go with Boykin. But if Sims has another strong week, those two could flip quickly. Tyler Vaughns has been very solid, as well.
Tight end (3): Pat Freiermuth, Zach Gentry, Connor Heyward
No changes here, as Kevin Rader has continued to have trouble securing a high percentage of his catches in practice and the Steelers quarterbacks seem to trust Connor Heyward.
Tackle (3): Dan Moore Jr., Chukwuma Okorafor, Joe Haeg
Guard (4): James Daniels, Kevin Dotson, Kendrick Green, John Leglue
Center (2): Mason Cole, J.C. Hassenauer
After a disastrous performance by the Steelers offensive line in Jacksonville on Saturday, we found a way to get John Leglue onto the roster. The versatile backup can play all five positions, but is probably best suited to play guard, where all of the Steelers top options struggled this week. Having the guys at the top falter and losing Leglue as a depth option to waivers would be a double whammy.
Defensive linemen (7): Cam Heyward, Tyson Alualu, Larry Ogunjobi, Chris Wormley, Montravius Adams, Isaiahh Loudermilk, DeMarvin Leal
No changes to this group, though the longer that Montravius Adams is out, the more we have to consider the possibility that he starts the season on the injured reserve list. Henry Mondeaux is probably the first cut here, though Khalil Davis has had a strong camp.
Outside linebacker (4): T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith, Derrek Tuszka, Genard Avery
Alex Highsmith is also beginning to look like a question mark to start the season healthy, but the Steelers don’t even really have four options they seem to be happy with here, let alone five. They’ll be watching other teams’ cuts at this position closely.
Inside linebacker (5): Myles Jack, Devin Bush, Robert Spillane, Buddy Johnson, Mark Robinson
Marcus Allen’s chances to make the team seem to be dwindling, as the longer he’s stayed out of the lineup, the more plays Mark Robinson has made. Buddy Johnson might be the more vulnerable one here, to be honest.
Cornerback (5): Cam Sutton, Ahkello Witherspoon, Levi Wallace, Art Maulet, James Pierre
Justin Layne had an interception fall into his lap on Saturday, but he did make a nice return. If Art Maulet’s hamstring injury lingers, Layne could easily find his way back onto the roster as a trusted special teamer and outside backup.
Safety (4): Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds, Damontae Kazeee, Tre Norwood
While the Steelers offensive line has struggled, the secondary has looked fine, so in order to get Leglue onto the roster, we had to give up a spot somewhere else. This time, it was safety Miles Killebrew. Even though Killebrew is a strong special teamer, he has been working with the third-team defense late into camp after having a pec injury for most of the first few weeks.
Specialist (3): Chris Boswell, Pressley Harvin III, Christian Kuntz
Still in ink.