Steelers 53-man roster prediction: Navigating a new-look roster in 2024

With July almost here, I try to sort out the talent on this roster to come up with my most realistic roster prediction before training camp.
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

As we head into July, football is almost back, as the end of the month will bring about the start of training camp for teams. The Steelers roster is headlined with a lot of new faces, and the final roster after cutdowns will likely be quite the unique group.

With the roster mostly settled ahead of training camp, I figured it was time for me to give my final roster predictions before we have training camp start-up and change the narrative on every player. With that said, here is my 53-man roster prediction ahead of training camp starting.

Steelers offense:

QB: Russell Wilson, Justin Fields

I’m going light at quarterback this year as I expect one to remain on the practice squad. The league made a small rule change where you could not elevate a quarterback off the practice squad every week to serve as a third option with no penalty to the team. The Steelers traditionally keep three quarterbacks, but there isn’t a third name worth the spot given this new rule.

Assuming a third option isn’t kept, this room is set in stone. Russell Wilson will get the initial chance to start and Justin Fields will serve as the backup. Given his experience, I would expect Kyle Allen to serve as the third string on the practice squad this season.

RB: Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, Cordarrelle Patterson, Daijun Edwards

I have this team going heavier here since they cut a quarterback. With the focus being on pounding the rock, having an ample supply of running backs will be important. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren figure to split the majority of the workload while Cordarrelle Patterson will serve as a return man and spare offensive option.

I added Daijun Edwards as the fourth option because he has the makings of a sleeper prospect in training camp. He has the size this team likes, was productive in school, and is a viable receiver and blocker. A strong camp and an underlying need to keep an extra body here could win him a spot.

WR: George Pickens, Van Jefferson, Roman Wilson, Marquez Callaway, Calvin Austin

I have the team going light here for a few reasons. For starters, the focus of this offense is on the run game, and the expectation is also for tight ends to be more involved in the passing game. There is no core special teams player here like Miles Boykin was last year. As well, given the general lack of options in the receiver room, keeping six would have meant cutting a better player at a different position.

Van Jefferson sticks out as the best of the admirably bad group of depth receivers, so I give him the nod as the second option. Calvin Austin beats out Scotty Miller and Quz Watkins as the speed threat. My wildcard is Marquez Callaway, as he had early success in the league and provides a different style of play at the position.

TE: Pat Freiermuth, Darnell Washington, Connor Heyward, MyCole Pruitt

I’m going chalk here, and the only real question is are they going to keep four tight ends this year? With Connor Heyward likely serving in a hybrid role in the backfield as well as a tight end, I think four is necessary. MyCole Pruitt has experience with Arthur Smith and can do a lot of things as a reserve tight end.

OL: Broderick Jones, Isaac Seumalo, Zach Frazier, James Daniels, Troy Fautanu, Dan Moore, Nate Herbig, Mason McCormick, Spencer Anderson

The top seven names are locked here and are easy to predict. While Dan Moore will compete with Troy Fautanu, that isn’t a question of who will make the roster but instead who will start. Some may see Nate Herbig as optional, but he seems like a favorite for the team and he can backup all three interior spots.

Mason McCormick is close to a lock, but I’m not writing a fourth-round pick in pen quite yet, especially with the line as deep as it is. Spencer Anderson claims the last spot, as he can play along the interior and saw snaps at right tackle.

Steelers defense:

DL:  Cameron Heyward, Keeanu Benton, Larry Ogunjobi, Dean Lowry, Montravius Adams, DeMarvin Leal

The defensive line should be a fun battle during training camp. While your starters are penciled in, there is a battle brewing among the backups. Montravius Adams may be the safest name given his ability to play nose tackle.

Dean Lowry is also pretty safe as a backup given his ability and perceived role as the top backup. The team may keep seven here, but I think they ultimately go heavy in the secondary. I give the nod to DeMarvin Leal given his play style. I’m shooting for the rebound season and upside over the limited ceiling other options.

EDGE: T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith, Nick Herbig, Jeremiah Moon

This group seems pretty set right now. The only question is what happens with the fourth edge rusher spot. The team claimed Jeremiah Moon early in the offseason and he has the traits to succeed. That said, his spot isn’t safe from the field.

LB: Patrick Queen, Elandon Roberts, Cole Holcomb, Payton Wilson, Mark Robinson

Another group that is set in stone, although I am not writing in Mark Robinson’s name in pen quite yet. The team seems to have little faith in him given their consistent focus to not play him. Cole Holcomb could also start the season on injured reserve and open a roster spot for someone else.

CB: Joey Porter, Donte Jackson, Cameron Sutton, Cory Trice, Darius Rush, Grayland Arnold

There is a lot of projection here, but until a better option presents itself, this seems like a realistic setup. Cameron Sutton seems like a safe bet to start in the slot, but he is also facing suspension, so Grayland Arnold can play there until he is available. I also keep both Cory Trice and Darius Rush as backup outside options.

S: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DeShon Elliot, Damontae Kazee, Miles Killebrew, Ryan Watts

The Steelers seem to like what they have in Ryan Watts with him moving to safety already. With Miles Killebrew almost specifically a special teams player, having five here makes sense. Damontae Kazee returns to his more specific backup role this year.

Specialists: Chris Boswell, Cameron Johnston, Christian Kuntz

Nothing to note here, as there is no real competition in this room.

While the roster will likely shift and come together as the preseason progresses, this early construction seems in line with what the Steelers could do. A defense-heavy setup tracks as the offense plans on playing a more conservative and run-focused game plan.

4 most underrated and unappreciated moves of the Steelers offseason. dark. Next. 4 most underrated and unappreciated moves of the Steelers offseason