Pittsburgh Steelers: Prediction of 2013 53-Man Roster

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Prediction of 2013 53-Man Roster

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As of right now, the Pittsburgh Steelers, along with the rest of the teams in the NFL, have 90 players on their roster. Organized team activities are underway, summer training camps are on the horizon and trimming down the rosters to 53 players won’t have to be worried about until after the preseason is over in late August.

The Steelers’ currently have a lot of depth at just about every position, and making a decision on their regular-season depth chart won’t be an easy task. Some positions, such as quarterback, tight end and kicker, shouldn’t cause any headache. However, the same may not be said for the others.

Though the starting lineup on both sides of the ball may seem apparent, filling the gaps for the second and third stringers could be difficult. There will be a lot of young talent fighting for spots, and assuming that all nine selections from this year’s draft makes the 53-man roster, very little room will be left for undrafted free agents, players who were on last year’s practice squad and players who were out of the league last year.

For me, predicting Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster wasn’t all that difficult. Aside from this year’s drafted rookies and new veteran free agents, this season’s team could potentially look very similar to the team of 2012.

I’ve made a breakdown of each position showing who will be starters come Week 1, and who will be the reserves. Even though I’m making a prediction of whom the starters will be, there still could be some changes after the regular season gets underway.

Here’s a look at the Steelers’ potential 53-man roster of the 2013 season.

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Quarterbacks

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QB Ben Roethlisberger (starter)

QB Bruce Gradkowski

QB Landry Jones (R)

There shouldn’t be any surprises with the Steelers’ group of quarterbacks this season. The offense has two reliable veterans to show a promising rookie the ins-and-outs of professional football.

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Running Backs

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RB Le’Veon Bell (R) (starter)

RB Jonathan Dwyer

RB Isaac Redman

RB LaRod Stephens-Howling

FB Will Johnson

Rookie Le’Veon Bell is clearly the standout in this bunch. If he earns the starting role in the backfield, he will have a great chance of being the 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year.

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Wide Receivers

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WR Antonio Brown (starter)

WR Emmanuel Sanders (starter)

WR Markus Wheaton (R)

WR Plaxico Burress

WR Jerricho Cotchery

WR Justin Brown (R)

Unlike last season, Pittsburgh should start the year with six receivers on the roster instead of four.

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Tight Ends

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TE Heath Miller (starter)

TE David Paulson

TE David Johnson

TE Matt Spaeth

Not knowing when Heath Miller will be able to return to the field after reconstructive knee surgery, David Paulson, David Johnson and Matt Spaeth will have to step up in the early part of the season.

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Offensive Linemen

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RT Mike Adams (starter)

RG David DeCastro (starter)

C Maurkice Pouncey (starter)

LG Ramon Foster (starter)

LT Marcus Gilbert (starter)

G Kelvin Beachum

G John Melecki

T Guy Whimper

The offensive line should be much improved from last season, assuming that they stay healthy. The only concern will be the play of second-year lineman Mike Adams.

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Defensive Linemen

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DE Brett Keisel (starter)

NT Steve McLendon (starter)

DE Ziggy Hood (starter)

NT Alameda Ta’amu

DE Cameron Heyward

DE Nick Williams (R)

The Steelers’ rotation on the defensive line will have a lot of youth. Unfortunately, they won’t be as experienced as they were last season.

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Linbackers

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OLB LaMarr Woodley (starter)

ILB Lawrence Timmons (starter)

ILB Larry Foote (starter)

OLB Jason Worilds (starter)

OLB Javis Jones (R)

ILB Vince Williams (R)

ILB Stevenson Sylvester

LB Chris Carter

Out of all of the linebackers, all eyes will be on rookie Jarvis Jones. The 17th overall pick from this year’s draft may not be in the starting lineup in Week 1, but he definitely could be a starter later on in the season.

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Defensive Backs

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CB Ike Taylor (starter)

CB Cortez Allen (starter)

SS Troy Polamalu (starter)

FS Ryan Clark (starter)

CB William Gay

S Shamarko Thomas (R)

S Robert Golden

CB Terry Hawthorne (R)

DB Josh Victorian

S DaMon Cromartie-Smith

The success of the secondary could all be determined on whether Troy Polamalu can stay healthy and return to his Pro Bowl form.

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Special Teams

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K Shaun Suisham

P Drew Butler

LS Greg Warren

The only competition on special teams that stands out is between second-year punter Drew Butler and 13-year veteran punter Brian Moorman. Both put up similar stats last season, and I’m assuming that the Steelers will just go with youth in making this decision.

Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google


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