Early Steelers 53-man roster predictions after the NFL Draft

Pittsburgh's seven new draft picks could shake up the final roster in 2024.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Rams
Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Rams / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Steelers loaded up on talent during the 2024 NFL Draft. With seven selections to work with (which included an additional third-round pick), Omar Khan found a way to reel in players like OT Troy Fautanu, C Zach Frazier, WR Roman Wilson, and LB Payton Wilson.

It's presumed that most of Pittsburgh's draft picks are expected to make the final Steelers roster. How does that shake things up this year and which players will miss the cut? Here are my way-too-early Steelers 53-man roster predictions following the NFL Draft.

Steelers roster prediction after NFL Draft

Quarterback (3): Russell Wilson, Justin Fields, Kyle Allen

Because the Steelers elected not to draft a quarterback this year, the outlook is very clear. Russell Wilson and Justin Fields are locks to make the roster as the top 2 quarterbacks. This leaves Kyle Allen as the lone QB3 on the roster. The Steelers always carry three quarterbacks, so unless they add competition, he's going to be holding a clipboard on Sundays as the QB3.

Running back (3): Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, Cordarrelle Patterson

The Steelers could add another running back or one could emerge in training camp who fights for a roster spot. But even with how much this team is expected to run the football, it's hard to picture anyone besides Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, or Cordarrelle Patterson taking carries from the running back position.

Wide receiver (6): George Pickens, Roman Wilson, Van Jefferson, Calvin Austin III, Quez Watkins, Dez Fitzpatrick

I have a hunch that the Steelers would like to add one more veteran receiver -- perhaps via trade. But for now, this is what their WR room could look like. George Pickens is the clearcut WR1, while Roman Wilson will carve out slot duties and could eventually earn WR2 work. I have Dez Fitzpatrick making the team as a core special teams player (the position previously held by Miles Boykin).

Tight end (4): Pat Freiermuth, Darnell Washington, Connor Heyward, MyCole Pruitt

If the Steelers don't have a true fullback on their roster this year, they are likely to hang onto four tight ends to open the 2024 season. Pat Freiermuth and Darnell Washington are locks, while Connor Heyward and MyCole Pruitt are both H-back types. If no fullback makes the team, both Heyward and Pruitt could have roles this season.

Offensive line (9): Broderick Jones, Troy Fautanu, Isaac Seumalo, Zach Frazier, James Daniels, Nate Herbig, Mason McCormick, Dan Moore Jr., Dylan Cook

The offensive line has gotten a major shakeup over the years. Suddenly, there is a surplus of talent that they won't want to part with. Thanks to the team's decision to add three more rookies to the offensive line (Troy Fautanu, Zach Frazier, and Mason McCormick) 2023 seventh-round pick Spencer Anderson could be the odd man out.

Interior defenders (6): Cameron Heyward, Keeanu Benton, Larry Ogunjobi, Dean Lowry, Logan Lee, Montravius Adams

There aren't a lot of big surprises here. Cameron Heyward, Keeanu Benton, and Larry Ogunjobi will take the vast majority of the snaps along the interior defensive line, while newcomer Dean Lowry could carve out work in a rotational role. Nobody else's roster spot is safe. I have a sixth-round rookie Logan Lee and veteran Dean Lowrey bumping DeMarvin Leal and Isaiahh Loudermilk off the roster.

Edge defenders (4): T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith, Nick Herbig, Jeremiah Moon

The Pittsburgh Steelers always enter the season with four edge defenders on their roster, and I don't see that trend breaking this year. T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith, and Nick Herbig are all locks to make the team. This leaves one spot that will be up for grabs. I have Jeremiah Moon making the squad as a reserve outside linebacker and special teamer.

Linebackers (5): Patrick Queen, Payton Wilson, Elandon Roberts, Cole Holcomb, Mark Robinson

Pittsburgh was decimated at the linebacker position in 2023 as Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander went down with season-ending injuries. All of a sudden, their depth is remarkably strong -- especially if Holcomb can return from rehabbing his knee. Payton Wilson was one of the best value picks of the 2024 NFL Draft, and he could carve out a role in subpackages early on. I have Mark Robinson narrowly making the team once more thanks to his special teams ability.

Cornerbacks (5): Joey Porter Jr., Donte Jackson, Cory Trice Jr., Darius Rush, Ryan Watts

Steelers fans thought Pittsburgh would address the CB position early in the 2024 draft, but with CBs flying off the board early, they looked for value elsewhere. Joey Porter Jr. and Donte Jackson are locked to make the team. Meanwhile, fans have high hopes for Cory Trice Jr. in Year 2 after returning from ACL surgery. I have Darius Rush and rookie Ryan Watts rounding out the positional group. Watts makes the squad as a core special teamer.

Safeties (5): Minkah Fitzpatrick, DeShon Elliott, Damontae Kazee, Miles Killebrew, Trenton Thompson

The Steelers went through a plethora of safeties during the 2023 season, so they will want to make sure they don't find themselves in the same situation. This year, newcomer DeShon Elliott takes the place of veteran Keanu Neal in the secondary with Minakh Fitzpatrick only leaving the field in the event of an emergency. I also have Damontae Kazee, Trenton Thompson, and special teams All-Pro Miles Killebrew making the squad.

Specialists (3): Chris Boswell (K), Cameron Johnston (P), Christian Kuntz (LS)

The specialists are always the easiest to predict. Chris Boswell isn't going anywhere, and the Steelers love what they are getting in veteran punter, Cameron Johnston. Christian Kuntz is expected to resume his duties as the Steelers' long snapper.