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bigben07MVP

Post-Draft 55 Man Roster/Depth Chart Prediction

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29 minutes ago, bigben07MVP said:

While I agree with you...our current lack of depth at S and ILB is pretty alarming. Not saying it won’t be addressed before the season starts but as it stands now we would be screwed if Minkah or Bush went down.

I don’t disagree, but my view is that that’s the same everywhere in the NFL, especially when talking about elite talent. 

I also don’t think the S is as big an issue. Sutton and Hilton both help the depth there. 

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2 hours ago, Dcash4 said:

I don’t disagree, but my view is that that’s the same everywhere in the NFL, especially when talking about elite talent. 

I also don’t think the S is as big an issue. Sutton and Hilton both help the depth there. 

Have we seen either one of them play as a single high safety? Genuine question because I don’t remember ever seeing it. 

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7 minutes ago, bigben07MVP said:

Have we seen either one of them play as a single high safety? Genuine question because I don’t remember ever seeing it. 

Nope.... 'backup' FS last year was Kam Kelly.

I would guess right now, the backup is Marcus Allen.  If I am looking at this roster as constructed, if Layne has advanced at all, Sutton might be a Safety convert.  I would probably trust him more than Hilton, although I am not sure.

3 Safety big nickel might be Sutton.

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18 minutes ago, bigben07MVP said:

Have we seen either one of them play as a single high safety? Genuine question because I don’t remember ever seeing it. 

No, not in game, though I was at the Jets game last year and swear I saw Hilton in a high safety look. But Hilton has taken snaps there in Practice/offseason activity. We have just never had to find out if he is next man up or not. I believe Sutton has taken snaps in practice at safety as well  

But, IMO, Slot corner and SS share a ton of similarities, so the position change is fairly fluid. 

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2 minutes ago, bigben07MVP said:

 

Farabaugh usually has pretty good takes, doesn’t he? 

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8 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

Farabaugh usually has pretty good takes, doesn’t he? 

Yes Farabaugh is the man. I swear I think he’s one of you guys on the forum sometimes. He always seems to tweet stuff out that is being talked about in these threads.

 

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Farabaugh is only like 20, he has a bright career ahead of himself

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On 4/27/2020 at 10:02 AM, bigben07MVP said:

Now this certainly won't be the final 55 man roster but this is my prediction for now. We will see a lot of roster movements leading up to the season. I predict we bring in a veteran safety and a nose tackle before camp, whether that be via trade or free agency. I also wouldn't sleep on us bringing Barron back on a super cheap 1 year deal. This is a pretty chalk projection. Here are a few notes:

- Duck beats out JT Barrett, Paxton Lynch for 3rd QB

- Jaylen Samuels and McFarland Jr. beat out Trey Edmunds and Kerryth White. McFarland Jr. sees about 4-6 carries per game unless Conner gets hurt. 

- Switzer is gone

- Claypool starts taking some of Washington's snaps as the season progresses. Ideally he starts making an impact around mid-season, similar to Martavis's rookie year. 

- Feiler moves over to left guard, Banner wins RT job and Chuks becomes top "swing" tackle, backs up both Villy and Banner

- JuJu sees more time in the slot with the drafting of Claypool. 

- For now, I have Tyson Alualu as the "starting" base NT. McCullers comes in on short yardage situations. 

- Ola, Highsmith, and Skipper all make the team due to the increase to 55 man rosters. They will battle it out in TC to be the top backup and take Chickillo's snaps. 

- Brooks Jr is listed as the backup to Edmunds, but if they bring in a veteran safety I would have him take over Leo Lewis spot as a ILB. 

- Cam Sutton is the top backup at all CB/NB postitions

- Corliss Waitman beats out Jordan Berry in camp, this is just me hoping

Criticize away!

Projected Depth Chart

Draft Pick

Free Agent/Trade

OFFENSE

QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Duck Hodges (3)

Tough one here for me as I love both Duck and Paxton.  Lynch says that he grew up a Steelers fan and particularly a fan of one Kordell Stewart. Duck needs time to develop. I don't get all of the Duck just doesn't have it  talk. He was a free agent walk-on/try-out player who won three NFL games without any experience. He has far exceeded expectations. My only regret is that with this pandemic, developmental guys do not get the benfit of the second year OTA's and extra work this off season. May the better man win between the two. 

RB: James ConnerBennie Snell Jr, Anthony McFarland Jr., Jaylen Samuels (4)

I am glad that the Steelers drafted a RB with some zip. That said, I was kinda hoping that Karith Whyte made the team and got a shot. Samuels is good as a third down back. My personal preference would be Connor, Snell and McFarland & Whyte: Two between the tackle guys and two quick backs.  

FB: Derek Watt (1)

I am hoping that Watt has a Kyle Justzcyzck type affect on our offense (blocking, catching and an occasional run). I will miss Rosie though. 

WR: Dionte Johnson,  Deon Cain (2)

WR: James Washington, Chase Claypool (2)

Slot: Juju Smith-Schuster (1)

I see the WR position a little differently. I think Ju Ju and Claypool are opposite one another. Johnson and Washington are behind them and play the slots. Cain is the #5 guy when they go all out spread. They will move these guys around to create mis-matches against the defense. Ju Ju has done some great things in the slot, but I think Dionte will really flourish there with his quickness and not having to face the jam at the LOS.

TE: Vance McDonald, Eric Ebron, Zach Gentry (3) (4)

I think Vance's production goes back up with Ben. He was definitely underutilized with Mason and Duck. He should have been a security blanket. His blocking seemed to decline in 2019 though. Maybe because of how he was used.  I am hoping that we get he feast version of Ebron. He can stretch the defense and also would be a great red-zone target.  The team is said to love Gentry. The scouting report last year called him a better blocking "Jessie James."  I hope that he is that. If so, it may keep the guy I root for CSW off the roster. He made strides last year and hopefully he may force the Steelers to keep four TE's. I will guess CSW makes it as the fourth TE.

LT: Alejandro Villanueva, Chuks Okorafor (2)

Villy had a down year by his standards and Chuks didn't have a great sophomore season. The hope is Villy improves and stays healthy and Chuks can show something by earning the spot of the sixth OL. 

LG: Matt Feiler, Kevin Dotson (2)

I know we have some depth at RT, but I am not so sure that I would move Feiler. He played very well at RT. DeCastro and Matt where the Ol's most consistent and best OL's in 2019 in my opinion. Dotson looks like the heir apparent on the OL. He is a violent run blocker and may see some time in short yardage and some run downs.

C: Maurkice Pouncey, Stefen Wisniewski (2)

Here's were I am a little different from you. I would use Wiz as the starting LG (provided he beat out Dotson) and back-up C. I think Wiz is one of the teams best IOL lineman right now, so get him on the field.

RG: David Decastro, Derwin Gray (2)

I think that Gray will be a solid back-up on both sides. I would also let him compete with Wiz and Dotson for the starting LG position. The best man wins. 

RT: Zach Banner (1)

I loved what Banner did last year, but not as sold on him as an every down starter. I know what I get with Feiler on rushing and passing downs. I am not sold on Banner's ability to handle the pass rush.  Feiler quietly played at a pro bowl type level in my opinion. I wouldn't want to disrupt that. Banner and Chuks both make it, but I would start out looking at them as back-ups. They may well prove me wrong. My hope is that Chuks plays more like a LT and will battle Gray and Banner for the sixth man role as the blocking TE. My starters: RT Feiler, RG DeCastro, C Pouncey, LG Wisniewski, LT Villy. Same players make it, but different way of utilizing them. 

Offense: 25 (26)

DEFENSE 

DE: Stephon Tuitt, Chris Wormley (2)

NT: Tyson Alualu, Dan McCullers, Carlos Davis (3)

DE: Cameron Heyward, Isaiah Buggs (2)

I lose on DL here (and we all know who that is). :D Davis and Tyson will battle as the starting NG when the Steelers go base 3-4 (which won't be much).  Hopefully Tuitt and Heyward can stay healthy and play together all year and in the play-offs. They both looked extremely dominant at times in 2019. I thought Tuitt was our early defensive MVP before getting hurt. He was definitely the best defensive player on the team then. Heyward finished the season strong and got better the second half of the year. I think he was playing as dominant as any interior DL including Aaron Donald. 

OLB: Bud Dupree, Ola Adeniyi (2)

ILB: Devin Bush, Ulysses Gilbert III, Leo Lewis (3) (2)

ILB Vince Williams, Robert Spillane (2)

OLB: TJ Watt, Alex Highsmith, Tuzar Skipper (3)

I think the Steelers keep nine LB's.  SS Brooks may see time in the Dimebacker/Mark Barron role of 2019 if Bush or Gilbert are not as solid in coverage. I am not so sure Leo Lewis makes it. I think Highsmith will back both Bud and Watt. I see him as insurance against not being able to sign Bud to a LTD. Ola and Tupac should get a decent amount of reps. I think Chick's role may go to multiple players (Highsmith, Ola nad Tupac).

CB: Joe Haden, Justin Layne, Trajon Bandy (3)

CB: Steven Nelson, Cameron Sutton (2)

NB: Mike Hilton (1)

FS: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Jordan Dangerfield (2) +1

SS: Terrell Edmunds, Antoine Brooks Jr (2)

Defense: 27 (26)

I am not so sure what players will still be standing as back-up safety and CB after the big seven (Haden, Nelson, Minkah, Edmunds, Hilton, Sutton, Layne). I will say Brooks is a definite so that makes eight. I think they keep three more players (11):   Six CB's and five Safeties.  

SPECIALIST

K: Chris Boswell (1)

P: Corliss Waitman (1)

LS: Kameron Canaday (1)

Specialists: 3

I am hoping that Berry improves or Waitman replaces him. I also remember hearing or reading that the free agent LS was solid (Christian Kuntz). I don't think he beats out Canaday, but supposedly wouldn't be an easy cut either.

This still will all hinge upon a healthy Big Ben, improved OL and rushing attack and the defense playing at least at the same level of 2019 and hopefully, even improving with a healthy Tuitt and improved play from Edmunds. Depth is a concern, but hopefully this team is healthier in 2020 than they were last year losing some key players. Everyone in the division looks like they got better. The Ravens look downright loaded with talent both from vets and rookies. 

I think the Steelers can be a similar team as the Bronco's last SB winning team with Peyton Manning at QB.  I think Ben is healthier and hopefully his arm is as well as he says.   A solid rushing attack with a healthy James Connor, improvements in passing with a healthy Big Ben and Ju Ju. Improvements on defense with a healthy Tuitt, improved Bush and Edmunds. With some of the draft choices, it also looks like the coverage teams should be better.  Are they good enough to knock off  the Chiefs, Ravens, Bills, Titans, Colts, and Broncos? We will see, but the Steelers look better prepared from a personnel standpoint to compete if they modify their attack.

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@Steeler Hitman The one thing I disagree strongly with is your take on the receivers. It’s already been reported that Claypool will work mostly on the outside, at least at first. Washington is not a slot receiver at all. DJ can move in the slot but was mostly on the outside last year where he excelled. This leaves JuJu who has shown to have more success in the slot than outside. The drafting of Claypool will allow JuJu to move in the slot more.

For 2020 I think you have Washington and DJ out wide with JuJu in the slot. Claypool is WR4 and will start to take some of JW’s outside snaps as the season progresses.

For 2021 you have DJ out wide, Claypool and Juju interchangeable in the slot/out wide and JW as WR4.

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3 minutes ago, bigben07MVP said:

@Steeler Hitman The one thing I disagree strongly with is your take on the receivers. It’s already been reported that Claypool will work mostly on the outside, at least at first.

I actually agreed with this. I was saying that I would put Ju Ju and Claypool outside (meaning opposite one another to serve as #1 and #2 guys on the outside. I haven't read any reports, but was stating how I would  position them. 

Washington is not a slot receiver at all.

He is not a #1 or #2 WR on our team either unless there are injuries. I use the term slot, but actually I am more referring to the sets the the offense lines up in in relationship to where the players are positioned. I.E. They could go trips, four man, or five man spread. I would typically prefer my big guys outside Ju Ju and Claypool and my smaller, quicker guys inside. Compared to Ju Ju and Claypool, Washington would fit inside better in my humble opinion. Again, I am not saying this is set in stone for every four-man set. They may use Ebron as well, despite being a TE, he may go outside or play in the slot. I think they can be interchangeable based on the set and personnel utilized.

DJ can move in the slot but was mostly on the outside last year where he excelled.

DJ was forced outside due to Ju Ju's injuries. While you can interchange them, I think DJ creates more of a mismatch inside and not having a CB directly in in his face. Ju Ju's size and strength better allow him to fight the press/man coverage teams employed against us last year. DJ may very well start in 2020 across from Ju Ju. I just think that when they bring in extra receivers or TE's, I would prefer to see DJ creating mis-matches inside against a slot CB, Safety or LB. Although either DJ or Ju Ju are capable of doing this.

This leaves JuJu who has shown to have more success in the slot than outside. The drafting of Claypool will allow JuJu to move in the slot more.

One of the complaints about our passing attack last year was that our WR's could not get open consistently. Teams jammed them and played press. Ju Ju had more success in the slot versus Miami because he didn't have an all pro CB playing him in the slot. I think that you can move these guys around in any combo based on sets, personnel and defensive opponents. 

For 2020 I think you have Washington and DJ out wide with JuJu in the slot. Claypool is WR4 and will start to take some of JW’s outside snaps as the season progresses.

Here's how I think it will look in a base of pro style or 21 personnel (FB and TE)

WR1 - - Ju Ju, Washington, Cain

TE - - Vance or Ebron

WR2 - - Johnson, Claypool

On third downs they may employ this type of look(11 Personnel 3 WR's and TE)

WR1/outside- - Ju Ju, Washington

WR2/outside - -Claypool, DJ, Cain

WR3/Slot -- DJ, Washington

TE - - Vance/Ebron

When the Steelers go 10 Personnel with four WR's take out Vance and add Washington as WR4/Slot.

WR4/Slot - - Washington or Ebron

They may throw Vance and Ebron in to replace the smaller guys as they spread out in the red zone. There are combinations that could be very interchangeable to suit our needs and plan of attack.

Depending on the team and match-ups, you can do a variety of combinations. Remember in 2018 when the Chargers moved Keenan Allen inside to take advantage of the Steelers using a LB to try to cover him? We can now do the same thing.

3 minutes ago, bigben07MVP said:

For 2021 you have DJ out wide, Claypool and Juju interchangeable in the slot/out wide and JW as WR4.

I am keeping Ju Ju and Claypool opposite one another. I will see them as WR1 and WR2 in most sets. I am not sure Claypool beats out Johnson or Washington without seeing him play a down.  However, I see him taking a Martavis Bryant type role in our offense. 

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As much as I would like to see DJ get some work inside, he is absolutely our X receiver. He has more ability to control the entire route tree and face 1 on 1 match ups outside. He is in the AB type mold to be able to have success there using his athleticism and route running to get guys off him. JuJu isn't an outside receiver long term, especially not as a #1. He doesn't have the athleticism to separate in tight coverage, but excels in the Slot with his body/hands. That's not to say he cant play outside, he can, but he isn't going to get your moneys worth playing X full time. 

They are all going to be fairly interchangeable, but DJ at X and JuJu at Z/Slot is what you want with Claypool/Washington taking the Z in 3 wide sets. 

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My only problem with putting DJ ahead of Washington right now. He give up on plays. I don’t care if the QB over threw him or if he ran the wrong route. I know one led to an INT. It may just be a personal preference, however, it chaps me to this day. 

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Displayname said:

My only problem with putting DJ ahead of Washington right now. He give up on plays. I don’t care if the QB over threw him or if he ran the wrong route. I know one led to an INT. It may just be a personal preference, however, it chaps me to this day. 

I don't recall that play but we must have different views on Johnson then. I see him as the next AB/Manny Sanders for us. That guy who Ben can trust to get open and create some separation on 3rd and 5. He no doubt has earned the #2 spot based off what he showed last year and it wouldn't shock me if he takes a massive leap and overtakes JuJu as #1 by the end of the season.

I like what Washington brings as well but he's no where near as complete of a receiver as DJ. Washington sort of reminds me of Markus Wheaton. Really solid player and fringe #2 receiver. Has his moments and big games but is never really super consistent. 

Edited by bigben07MVP

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