Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart 2021: Predicting Week 1 Starters

Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC North in 2020 with a 12-4 record. While that looks like a successful season, the Steelers would think otherwise. After an impressive 11-0 start, the Pittsburgh Steelers crumbled in their last five games of the season, losing in the Wild Card round to division rivals Cleveland Browns.

Their running game disappeared while their wide receivers started dropping more passes than they were catching. The Steelers drafted with the offense in mind as they look forward to a better campaign in 2021.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Depth Chart

Here is what the Pittsburgh Steelers' depth chart should look like entering week 1:

Offense

Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Josh Dobbs, Dwayne Haskins.

Running Back: Najee Harris, Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland Jr., Jaylen Samuels.

Wide Receiver: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, Dionate Johnson, James Washington, Ray-Ray McCloud.

Tight End: Eric Ebron, Pat Freiermuth, Zach Gentry.

Fullback: Derek Watt.

Center: JC Hassenauer, BJ Finney, Kendrick Green.

Left Guard: Kevin Dotson.

Right Guard: David DeCastro.

Left Tackle: Chaukwuma Okorafor.

Right Tackle: Zach Banner, Joe Haeg.

Defense

Linebacker: Vince Williams, T.J. Watt, Devin Bush, Alex Hughsmith, Robert Spillane.

Defensive Line: Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu,

Corner: Joe Haden, Cam Sutton, Justin Layne.

Free Safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Strong Safety: Terrell Edmunds.

Special Teams:

Kicker: Chris Boswell.

Punter: Jordan Berry, Pressley Harvin III.

Long Snapper: Kameron Canaday.

Kick/ Punt Returner: Ray-Ray McCloud.

Also Check Out: 2021 NFL Depth Chart for all 32 teams


Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart Analysis

Offense

Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger signed a new contract this off-season and all signs point to 2021 possibly being his last season. Roethlisberger will have Mason Rudolph as his backup again.

Rudolph has proved to be reliable, but it remains to be seen if he gets the starting job in the future. Josh Dobbs and Dwayne Haskins, who signed this winter, will round out the quarterback room.

Running back: After the Pittsburgh Steelers finished last in the run game in 2020, they drafted Najee Harris out of Alabama in the first round. There is a lot of promise around Harris, who is expected to brighten up the Steelers' running game and be a presence in the backfield. Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland will be additional running options. Jaylen Samuels is also a versatile player, who finds time in special teams and in offense.

Wide Receiver: JuJu Smith-Schuster is back on a one-year deal and will likely be the number one receiver.Chase Claypool, who's entering his second year, should get just as many reps as he did last year, if not more.

Dionate Johnson needs a bounce back year after struggling last season with dropped passes. James Washington, although fourth on the depth chart, has been a reliable asset for Roethlisberger deep in the field.

Tight end: Vance McDonald retired after the 2020 season, leaving Eric Ebron as the lone starting tight end. With Ebron more of a receiver than a blocker, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Pat Freiermuth out of Penn State. Freiermuth is a duel threat as a blocker and receiver. Zach Gentry is the third option at tight end.

Full-back: Derek Watt is the lone full-back and is also an integral piece of the Pittsburgh Steelers' Special Teams squad.

Center: Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion Maurkice Pouncey retired this off-season, leaving a veteran hole on the line and the offense as a whole. JC. Hassenauer and BJ. Finney are both capable of playing center, but the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Kendrick Green with an eye on the future.

Kevin Dotson, who had an impressive rookie season in 2020, will be back at left guard, and veteran David DeCastro will likely be at right guard. Zach Banner will return at right tackle after a knee injury shortened his 2020 season, while Chukwuma Okorafor will play left tackle. Finney is also a versatile lineman and could be a backup like Joe Haeg.

Defense

Defensive end: Defensive end Stephon Tuitt is back for his seventh season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2020, Tutt had a career-high ten sacks.

Defensive Line: Cam Heyward and Tyson Alualu will lead the Steelers' line in 2021. Isaiah Buggs and Chris Wormley are also death options in the defensive line.

Linebacker: TJ Watt, who was snubbed for the 'Defensive Player of the Year' award last season, will have Devin Bush and Vince Williams back in 2021. Robert Spillane and Alex Highsmith, who both received a significant amount of playing time last season due to injuries, will also be options at linebacker.

Safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick will start at free safety, while Terell Edmunds is a strong safety. WIth Cam Sutton back with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he could be a versatile piece of the defense, as he can play safety and corner.

Corner: Joe Haden is in the left corner, while the right corner remains up for grabs. Justin Layne could be the lock, but he will likely have competition from James Pierre, Arthur Maulet and the undrafted rookie Shakur Brown. Cam Sutton could also move around, depending on the defensive scheme of the team; he could take a corner as well.

Special Teams

Barring any unforeseen situations, Chris Boswell will likely return to kicking duties for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season. The punting situation is interesting, though.

Jordan Berry has been the kicker for the last few seasons, but in the seventh round, Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Pressley Harvin III out of Georgia Tech. Having a punting competition is intriguing, so only time will tell.

Kameron Canaday should once again be the long snapper, and Ray-Ray McCloud, an effective kick and punt returner last season, will once again take over those duties.

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