Pittsburgh Steelers: Final 53-man roster prediction for 2021

Aug 12, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins (3) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 12, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins (3) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Steelers are done with the preseason and will make their final roster cuts down to 53 men by Aug. 31. Who makes the cut for 2021?

The Pittsburgh Steelers closed out their portion of the 2021 NFL Preseason after their Week 3 game against the Carolina Panthers in which the starters were seldom seen, if at all. For some roster hopefuls, though, their NFL dream unfortunately came to a close.

Ben Roethlisberger will return as the Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback for his 18th NFL season. However, there has been more upheaval along the offensive line than he has seen in quite some time. There are, of course, other locks to make the 53-man roster throughout the team.

We’re breaking down every position group and predicting with 53 players will ultimately make the Steelers for the 2021 season.

Pittsburgh Steelers final 53-man roster predictions

Quarterbacks: Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Josh Dobbs

Dwayne Haskins, the former first-round draft pick of the Washington Football Team just simply did not do enough to push Josh Dobbs off the roster. Haskins should clear waivers and cycle back to the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad.

Running Backs: Najee Harris, Anthony McFarland Jr., Kalen Ballage

Kalen Ballage has made an impression on the Pittsburgh Steelers with his tough running between the tackles. However, Benny Snell is a serviceable depth running back and a competent special teams player. Snell was injured most of the pre-season and Ballage likely did enough to claim a roster spot.

Fullback: Derek Watt

Derek Watt was injured most of 2020, he looks to be healthy so not much to see here.

Wide Receivers: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, Ray-Ray McCloud

No changes with this group and Ray-Ray McCloud has established himself as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ primary kick returner. The only thing that could possibly change this is if the franchise were to make the once-present trade rumors around Washington come to reality.

Tight Ends: Eric Ebron, Pat Freiermuth, Kevin Rader

The Steelers could add someone to this group that would push Kevin Rader off after other teams make their cuts. Rader adds virtually nothing as a receiver and his blocking might be mitigated by Freiermuth making strides as a rookie in that department.

Offensive Line: Kendrick Green, Trai Turner, Kevin Dotson, Zack Banner, Chukwuma Okorafor, B.J. Finney, Dan Moore Jr., Joe Haeg, Rashaad Coward, J.C. Hassenauer

The Pittsburgh Steelers may have found a starting offensive tackle in Round 4 of the NFL Draft as Dan Moore has performed extremely well in the preseason. With that being said, there are a ton of new faces with this group that will have big-time shoes to fill for the offense to reach its potential.

Defensive Line: Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu, Isaiah Buggs, Isaiah Loudermilk, Chris Wormley, Henry Mondeaux

Though Loudermilk was far from celebrated as a late-round pick for the Steelers, he impressed in the preseason. The top of the defensive line depth chart is far from surprising but the rest of the group should provide decent depth.

Linebackers: T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith, Devin Bush, Joe Schobert, Jamir Jones, Melvin Ingram III, Marcus Allen, Miles Killebrew, Buddy Johnson

Speaking of no surprises, that’s a theme for this group. We’re looking at a lot of high draft picks, experience, and valuable newcomers in this linebacker group. Buddy Johnson had some preseason growing pains but he’s still worthwhile keeping as a fifth-round rookie.

Cornerbacks: Joe Haden, Cameron Sutton, James Pierre, Justin Layne, Shakur Brown

I would not be surprised if Shakur Brown’s stay on the Pittsburgh Steelers 53 -man roster is a very short one. They do not have a capable slot defender in this unit and, if one were to hit the waiver wire or free agency as other teams make cuts, Brown could be the player to get the boot so the team can fill that void.

Safeties: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds, Tre Norwood, Lafayette Pitts

The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely be scouring the waiver wire for safety help. Their current depth at the position is absolutely atrocious and, while Fitzpatrick is a bonafide star, he needs help to maintain consistency on that side of the ball.

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Special Teams: Kameron Canaday (LS), Chris Boswell (K), Pressley Harvin III (P)

Canaday and Boswell are no surprise, the same of which can be said of Harvin after his preseason. He was quietly one of the stars of the action as he consistently showcased a bit leg with great accuracy when called upon. He could be a plus-asset for the Steelers on special teams.