Predicting Steelers' updated depth chart after the NFL Draft

The Steelers are probably going to make some fans annoyed with their first depth chart after the draft.
TCU v West Virginia
TCU v West Virginia / G Fiume/GettyImages

The NFL Draft has come and gone yet again and the Steelers are a better team from it. It should create some competition for specific starting roles and other prime spots on the team. Training camp will be when the first official depth chart is released by Mike Tomlin but don't be shocked if there are some surprises when that time eventually comes.

Steelers make some shocking moves in first depth chart post-draft

Quarterback: Russel Wilson, Justin Fields, Kyle Allen, John Rhys Plumlee

No shocking moves here as Russell Wilson is almost guaranteed the starting job at quarterback for the Steelers. It would take an astonishing effort by Justin Fields to overtake that spot, or for Wilson to completely fall apart. Kyle Allen seems to be fairly secure at the third spot on the depth chart, but John Rhys Plumlee might be able to make some noise if he can show some versatility.

Running back: Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, Cordarrelle Patterson, Daijun Edwards, Connor Heyward

No real surprises here, but it would be ideal if the Steelers could get a real running back as their third option. Cordarrelle Patterson has played running back and receiver, but he is more seen as a returner at this point. Keep an undrafted free agent name in mind going into camp like Daijun Edwards. He started for Georgia and has proven to be effective as a runner, catcher, and pass protector in college.

Wide receiver: George Pickens, Roman Wilson, Van Jefferson, Calvin Austin III, Quez Watkins, Denzel Mims

The only thing shocking here is that Roman Wilson slides into a starting spot on the depth chart on day one. It seems like the Steelers want to add another starting-caliber receiver before training camp, so we will see where that goes. Both Van Jefferson and Calvin Austin III get the nod over the remaining receivers who will be battling for roster position this summer.

Tight end: Pat Freiermuth, Darnell Washington, Connor Heyward, MyCole Pruitt, Rodney Williams

Tight end is pretty cut and dry after the draft. Pat Freiermuth remains the star at the position and Darnell Washington is the primary blocker. We will see how the Steelers view Connor Heyward, but he remains one of the better pass-catching tight ends on the roster. MyCole Pruitt gets over Rodney Williams here as he is a proven blocker and Arthur Smith is familiar with him.

Left tackle: Dan Moore Jr., Broderick Jones, Troy Fautanu

Here is where fans are going to shout their displeasure from the mountaintops of Pittsburgh. Tomlin rarely slots rookies to start on day one, and it is unknown which side Troy Fautanu will play on. Expect Dan Moore Jr. to start on the left side to start training camp and Jones on the right side. Eventually, it seems like they will finally make the switch from Moore, but it won't be in the first version of the depth chart most likely.

Left guard: Isaac Seumalo, Mason McCormick, Nate Herbig

Isaac Seumalo will be the starting left guard yet again this upcoming season. He had a slow start during his first season with the Steelers, but he started playing well down the stretch. He provides stability along the interior of the offensive line. Mason McCormick should control both depth spots at the guard positions during his rookie campaign.

Center: Nate Herbig, Zach Frazier, Spencer Anderson, Ryan McCollum

Oh boy, could you imagine the ridicule if the Steelers do this in their first depth chart? Fans would be having a field day on Tomlin even though it would just be their first depth chart. Zach Frazier will be the starter after being the second-round choice in this past draft. Nate Herbig has NFL experience and that will give him the nod to start things off. If any rookie has a shot to be a day-one starter listed on the depth chart, it's Frazier.

Right guard: James Daniels, Spencer Anderson, Nate Herbig

James Daniels will remain the starter at right guard, and he could be an option for a contract extension in training camp. Not many players were more hurt by the draft than Spencer Anderson as his roster spot could be gone. He needs to win both backup spots at guard and provide quality snaps at center for him to have a shot at making the team. Herbig remains as a depth option along the interior of the line.

Right tackle: Broderick Jones, Troy Fautanu, Dylan Cook

As mentioned earlier, expect the Steelers to have the same starting tackles as last season in their first depth chart. It seems like they will move Broderick Jones over to the left side at some point, and maybe try Fautanu over on the right. Whichever has more success will be the long-term plan by Pittsburgh. It will be interesting to see how Dylan Cook does in camp this year. He made the roster after an impressive preseason last time around.

Defensive end: Cam Heyward, Keeanu Benton, DeMarvin Leal, Logan Lee

After failing to address the defensive line much this offseason, Cam Heyward will be heavily relied on. Don't be shocked if he skips most of the practices and games during the preseason so he doesn't risk injury. Keeanu Benton will get plenty of snaps to hopefully show that he can take the next step. DeMarvin Leal will have to fend off Logan Lee throughout the preseason.

Defensive end: Larry Ogunjobi, Keeanu Benton, Dean Lowry, Isaiahh Loudermilk

Larry Ogunjobi will be the starter here, and hopefully, he can bounce back after a poor season last year. Benton should be able to carve a role out on defense other than just at nose tackle. Dean Lowry is a quality run stuffer who will have to fend off a couple of guys like Isaiahh Loudermilk. Lowry's spot should be fairly safe heading into camp.

Nose tackle: Keeanu Benton, Montravius Adams, Breiden Fehoko

Benton is in store for a bigger role in year two. He showed a lot of promise and will remain the primary nose tackle on the first depth chart. Montravius Adams was brought back this past offseason and should remain the primary backup in this role. Breiden Fehoko was somewhat of a surprise to return to the team, but he provides quality depth in this position.

Outside linebacker: T.J. Watt, Nick Herbig, Jeremiah Moon

Never a doubt who the starters will be at outside linebacker for the Steelers as long as T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith stay healthy. You would have to imagine the club would like to add another proven depth piece to the position, but we will see if anything develops. Nick Herbig will be the primary backup at both spots. Jeremiah Moon is an interesting name heading into camp who could play outside and inside.

Outside linebacker: Alex Highsmith, David Perales, Julius Welschof

After Herbig, there aren't too many great options to provide depth at outside linebacker. Herbig will be the backup to Highsmith too, but the guys behind them are concerning. David Perales gets the nod here as the former undrafted free agent spent last season with Pittsburgh on their practice squad. Julius Welschof is an athletic freak who could shock some.

Inside linebacker: Patrick Queen, Payton Wilson, Jacoby Windmon

Inside linebacker is an interesting position heading into training camp. On paper, they have a ton of talent and four potential starters. But the injury of Cole Holcomb remains the issue. Patrick Queen will be the top dog no matter if Holcomb is ready for camp or not. Expect Payton Wilson to be the main backup to one of the inside linebacker spots on the first depth chart. Jacoby Windmon should have a good camp as the undrafted free agent played well in college.

Inside linebacker: Cole Holcomb, Elandon Roberts, Mark Robinson

Will Holcomb be ready? It seems like he won't but they have Wilson and Elandon Roberts to fill that void. Mark Robinson has to take a step forward this year or he won't make the team. He has been given plenty of chances during his young career, but this seems like his final shot to show something more. Robinson will be battling to make the roster this preseason.

Cornerback: Joey Porter Jr., Darius Rush, Luq Barcoo

Joey Porter Jr. is the most talented cornerback on the Steelers, and it's not particularly close. Hopefully, he doesn't suffer a sophomore slump because that would spell disaster for the black and gold. Expect Darius Rush and Cory Trice Jr. to battle for the main backup role behind the two starters throughout camp. Luq Barcoo is a forgotten name, but he has found his way to stick around the team for a while now.

Cornerback: Donte Jackson, Cory Trice Jr., Beanie Bishop

Donte Jackson will be the opposite outside cornerback of Porter heading into camp. Unless they shock everyone and sign a free agent to move Jackson into the slot, those will be the two outside guys. Beanie Bishop is an interesting player who can play a couple of different roles in the secondary. He could be a sneaky roster spot guy who went undrafted in this past draft.

Slot cornerback: Josiah Scott, Ryan Watts, Beanie Bishop

Slot cornerback is up in the air right now as the Steelers weren't able to find any solutions this offseason. It seems like their starter is somewhere off the roster right now. Rumor has it that Josiah Scott could impress some in camp and surge for the slot role. Ryan Watts was a late-round draft pick who has played in the slot before. Bishop has played some slot before, but it is unknown how he would translate that to the NFL.

Safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Damontae Kazee, Jalen Elliott

Minkah Fitzpatrick is a star on defense and should be able to go back to his common role on defense. There is more depth at safety now and a couple of proven veterans who can start for the team in case of injury. Damontae Kazee remains on the roster and will play a role on defense. Jalen Scott rounds out this safety spot to try and push for a place on the roster.

Safety: DeShon Elliott, Trenton Thompson, Miles Killebrew

The Steelers went out and upgraded the strong safety spot by signing DeShon Elliott. He should help stabilize the safety position. Trenton Thompson was a pleasant surprise last year after injuries piled up. Miles Killebrew remains one of the best special teams' players in the NFL. He should provide quality depth at the position too.

Specialists: Chris Boswell (K), Cameron Johnston (P), Chrisitan Kuntz (LS), Calvin Austin III(PR), Cordarrelle Patterson (KR/PR), Quez Watkins (PR/KR)

No changes at the specialist positions here as they have little to no challenge. The returners are where things could get interesting on the depth chart. Expect Patterson to get every shot to make the team as the top returner. Expect Austin III to show promise as the punt returner so that might be his best shot at making the team. Quez Watkins has prior return experience and should be in the training camp battle.

Next. Steelers must target these remaining free agents. Steelers must target these remaining free agents. dark