My Final 53

Jim Wexell takes his turn at predicting the Steelers' 53-man roster, with a couple of newsy nuggets thrown in.

Brett Keisel had been in contact all summer with the Steelers, who wanted to see what else they had on the defensive line before committing to the soon-to-be 36-year-old veteran.

So they agreed today to a two-year deal with Keisel, who, I'm finding out, didn't come back to be a reserve. He'll likely be a starter at some point, but whether it's in two-and-a-half weeks for the opener is up to his conditioning.

With that roster maneuver out of the way, and with knowledge that they won't have to keep two long-snappers, I finally feel confident enough to present my 53-man roster, with two preseason games to play:

QUARTERBACK (2) -- Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski.

RUNNING BACK (4) -- Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount, Dri Archer, Will Johnson.

WIDE RECEIVER (6) -- Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore, Martavis Bryant, Justin Brown, Darrius Heyward-Bey.

TIGHT END (3) -- Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, David Paulson.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9) -- Kelvin Beachum, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, Guy Whimper, Cody Wallace, Mike Adams, Wesley Johnson.

DEFENSIVE LINE (7) -- Keisel, Cameron Heyward, Steve McLendon, Stephon Tuitt, Daniel McCullers, Cam Thomas, Josh Mauro.

LINEBACKER (9) -- Jarvis Jones, Ryan Shazier, Lawrence Timmons, Jason Worilds, Arthur Moats, Terence Garvin, Vince Williams, Sean Spence, Vic So'oto.

DEFENSIVE BACK (10) -- Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, Troy Polamalu, Mike Mitchell, Shamarko Thomas, Robert Golden, Antwon Blake, Brice McCain, Will Allen.

SPECIALISTS (3) -- Shaun Suisham, Brad Wing, Greg Warren.

Toughest Cut: Chris Carter. I don't even know what So'oto looks like, but on the field he's bigger than Carter and has made more plays. I went looking for him in the locker room the other day and couldn't find him. I asked another reporter where Mr. So'oto was.

"In the backfield," was the reply.

The Steelers pride themselves on letting the competition speak for itself, and that's why I kept So'oto over Carter, while also cutting a promising linebacker such as Jordan Zumwalt. I do believe Zumwalt is the riskiest cut, in terms of getting him through waivers and back on the practice squad, but if he's claimed by someone else the Steelers could put Dan Molls on the practice squad instead. In fact, here's my ...

PRACTICE SQUAD: Nick Williams DE, Chris Hubbard OG, Howard Jones OLB, Rob Blanchflower TE, Zumwalt ILB, Shaquille Richardson CB, Jordan Dangerfield S, Josh Harris RB, Isaiah Green CB, Landry Jones QB.


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