Pittsburgh Steelers 53-Man Roster Projection

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in an interesting situation going into the 2021 season. Which is something that is usually said the season after a team wins the division title.

The Steelers' season took a turn for the worse around Week 12 and included back-to-back losses against division rival Cleveland Browns in the season finale as well as in the Wild Card round.

With that bitter taste left in their mouths, the Steelers then saw their veteran Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey and tight end Vance McDonald retire. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could be entering the last season of his career and the offensive line will see practically all new starters.

While the rosters will still see some stability, there will definitely be some shakeups and new starters at others.

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Who will make the Steelers final cuts?

Offense

Quarterback:

Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins

The quarterback depth chart should shape up this way with Josh Dobbs on the practice squad. While Haskins could give Rudolph competition in training camp, experience with the offense should fall in Rudolph's favor.

Running Back:

Najee Harris, Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland Jr.

The Steelers were last in the rush in 2020 so that is where the attention went this offseason. The Steelers parted ways with James Connor, who signed with the Arizona Cardinals.

Pittsburgh then drafted Harris in the first round, who should make an immediate impact. Snell and McFarland both saw snaps last season, but production wasn't where it needed to be.

Wide Receiver:

Juju Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, James Washington

The Steelers were able to re-sign Juju Smith-Schuster to an affordable one-year deal this offseason. Smith-Schuster will once again lead the receivers at number one. Chase Claypool had a standout rookie season and should repeat that.

But it is Diontae Johnson who is looking for redemption after dropped passes saw him benched against the Buffalo Bills.

Tight End:

Eric Ebron, Pat Freiermuth

Eric Ebrin will return to the Steelers for his second season. Ebron was an added weapon on offense for Roethlisberger in 2020 and a real playmaker.

With the retirement of Vance McDonald, the Steelers used their second-round draft pick on Penn State standout Pat Freiermuth. The rookie should bring another added dimension to the Steelers offense and impress in his rookie campaign.

Offensive Line:

Chukwuma Okorafor, Kevin Dotson, Kendrick Green, Trai Turner, Zack Banner

The Steelers offensive line saw the departures of Maurkice Pouncey, Alejandro Villanueva, Matt Feiler and, just this week, David DeCastro. Kevin Dotson was drafted in 2020 and is versatile enough that he will be able to switch positions on the line if need be.

The Steelers drafted Kendrick Green in this year's draft as a future center, while J.C. Hassenauer could start the season as the center if necessary. Zach Banner is returning from a season-ending injury in 2020 and free agent Trai Turner was just signed this week.

Defense

Linebackers

T.J. Watt, Devin Bush, Alex Highsmith, Vince Williams, Robert Spillane

The Steelers did lose Bud Dupree in free agency this offseason, which was quite the hit. Injuries to Dupree and Bush in 2020 saw Alex Highsmith and Robert Spillane get the majority of the playing time.

Defensive Line

Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu

The defensive line is pretty stacked with well-established veterans. There have been rumors that the Steelers could still add a few more defensive linemen, but that remains to be seen.

Corner

Joe Haden, Cam Sutton, Justin Layne, James Pierre

There may be a competition in training camp that could see Justin Layne not make the final cut and Shakur Brown making the final roster.

Safety

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds, Miles Killebrew

The Steelers are confident in Fitzpatrick but chose not to pick up the fifth-year option on Edmunds. This could be the season to make an impact and get a contract extension from the Steelers after 2021.

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