Fresh off a strong finish to the 2022 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers have put themselves in position to have a big season in 2023.
Led by general managers Omar Khan and Andy Weidl, the Steelers have added significant depth to a roster that went 9-8 last season after a 2-6 start. Specifically, Pittsburgh has considerable depth on both the offensive and defensive lines. Along with several notable signings in free agency, the Steelers additionally added impact players at tight end, outside linebacker and cornerback during April's draft.
Below is a look at Pittsburgh's initial 53-man roster along with a projection of the Steelers' depth chart.
|QB||Kenny Pickett||Mitch Trubisky||Mason Rudolph|
|WR||George Pickens||Miles Boykin|
|WR||Allen Robinson II||Calvin Austin III|
|WR||Diontae Johnson||Gunner Olszewski|
|Dan Moore Jr.|
Pickett is back for his first full season at starting quarterback. The former Pitt Panther had an impressive summer that included his perfect passer rating in three preseason games. While Pickens has been his go-to target, Pickett also has chemistry with Johnson, newcomer Robinson and Freiermuth, who caught 123 passes during his first two seasons in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers are bringing back the same backfield from 2022. Harris is back for his third season after becoming the first player in franchise history to start his career with consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Warren will reprise his role as Harris' complement after averaging nearly 5.0 yards per carry as a rookie.
Pittsburgh's offensive line recently lost guard Kevin Dotson as the four-year veteran was traded to the Los Angles Chargers. The line was bolstered this offseason by the additions of first-round pick Jones and free agents Seumalo and Herbig. Jones was competing for the starting left tackle job this summer against Moore, who has never not started a game for the Steelers since he was selected in the fourth round of the 2021 draft. Okorafor, the third highest-tenured starter on the Steelers, is manning the team's starting right tackle spot for the fourth consecutive year.
Joey Porter Jr.*
Pittsburgh acquired impact rookies at all three levels of its defense in Benton, Herbig and Porter. The Steelers added more new faces at inside linebacker via free agents Holcomb, Roberts and Alexander. Alexander, a former Pro Bowler with the 49ers, was signed shortly after the start of training camp.
The Steelers' defense is led by three of the NFL's best players in Heyward, Watt and Fitzpatrick. Heyward and Watt are currently second and third in franchise history in career sacks behind former teammate James Harrison. Fitzpatrick is coming off his third All-Pro selection since being acquired by Pittsburgh in 2019.
Calvin Austin III
Calvin Austin III
The Steelers kept two punters, but I'm giving Pressley Harvin the nod to win the job by Week 1. That leaves an open roster spot the Steelers could use to re-sign tight end Zach Gentry if he is available.
The team's second longest-tenured player, Boswell, returns after making a career-low 71.4% of his field goal attempts. Boswell is surely looking to return to form after missing five games last season with a groin injury.
Speaking of injury, Austin is looking to ready to contribute after missing his entire rookie season with an injury. The former Memphis Tiger had a solid summer that solidified his spot on the 53-man roster.