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AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

2018 AFC North Roster Roundup: Pittsburgh Steelers

Did the Steelers add enough pieces through free agency and the draft to finally have a chance to knock off New England in January?


Projected Starters



QB: Ben Roethlisberger

RB: Le’Veon Bell
WR: Antonio Brown
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR: James Washington
TE: Vance McDonald
LT: Alejandro Villanueva
LG: Ramon Foster
C: Maurkice Pouncey
RG: David DeCastro
RT: Marcus Gilbert



DE: Cameron Heyward
DT: Javon Hargrave
DE: Stephon Tuitt
OLB: T.J. Watt
ILB: Vince Williams
OLB: Bud Dupree
CB: Joe Haden
CB: Artie Burns

CB: Mike Hilton
S: Sean Davis
S: Morgan Burnett


Roster Notes/Thoughts


Notable depth

QB Mason Rudolph, RB James Conner, HB Jaylen Samuels, FB Roosevelt Nix, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, TE Jesse James, TE Xavier Grimble, OT Chukwuma Okorafor, DE Tyson Alualu, ILB Jon Bostic, ILB Tyler Matakevich, CB Cameron Sutton, S Terrell Edmunds, S Marcus Allen


Biggest strength: Wide receiver

There might not be a more explosive passing attack in the league than Pittsburgh’s, and the wideouts have a lot to do with it, as Antonio Brown—arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL—can get open against heavy coverage, JuJu Smith-Schuster is just 21 years old but has shown he is a game-breaker, and James Washington can get deep and will bring the consistency that Martavis Bryant didn’t have. Overall, the Steelers’ strength is clearly their high-powered offense.


Biggest weakness: Inside linebacker

It’s been great to see Ryan Shazier make progress from his spinal injury, but he still has a long, long way to go until he returns to the field (if he does at all) and has already been ruled out for the 2018 season. And unfortunately for Pittsburgh, the injury not only impacts a tremendous person and teammate, but also leaves a top-end talent out of the middle of the defense. Jon Bostic was brought in to stop the run on early downs with Vince Williams, but inside linebacker is obvious the soft spot for the unit.


Position battle to watch: Safety

Pittsburgh really addressed the safety position this offseason by signing former Packer Morgan Burnett to pair with Sean Davis and then drafting Terrell Edmunds (first round) and Marcus Allen (fifth round) last month, so there are four capable players with only a couple full-time roles available. However, we could potentially see Allen slide into the box early in his career with the other three handling traditional responsibilities on the back end and in the slot.


Early over/under: 10.5 (via Odds Shark)

Over. I think the Ravens and Browns clearly got better in the division, but the Steelers have all the pieces on offense—a future Hall of Fame quarterback, a superstar running back, a loaded receiving corps, and an elite offensive line—to win at least ten games for the fifth straight season. The question is whether or not they added enough to the roster to get past New England in January.


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