15 Players on Bubble to Make/Miss Steelers Roster

These players are riding the line to make or miss the Pittsburgh Steelers' 53-man roster. How likely is each to earn a spot?
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to begin training camp this Thursday, July 22. It's the first time players take the field since minicamp in June. And it brings plenty of pressure.

The Steelers need to trim their 90-man roster to 53 by Week 1. That means they have a little over a month to find the best players for their 2021 Super Bowl run.

It also means there are players with one more chance to make an NFL roster - the Steelers' roster.

Not everyone will. In fact, almost half won't. And these 15 players are riding the line between a jersey and the free agency market as they head into camp.

Jaylen Samuels, RB

Samuels is fighting with four other running backs for the backup roles in Pittsburgh. Frankly, Anthony McFarland and Benny Snelly Jr. are too appealing for Samuels to be ahead of them in the roster count.

It's Samuels vs. Kalen Ballage to start training camp. Samuels has the experience and the pass-catching ability. Ballage has the drive and a cheaper deal.

Do they make the roster? Yes.

Kalen Ballage does not make the roster

Josh Dobbs, QB

Dobbs has developed into a well-rounded backup quarterback and has the intelligence to be a valuable member of any sideline. Last season, Ben Roethlisberger was looking at him to understand opposing defenses.

Unfortunately, he's competing against Mason Rudolph - the backup - and former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins. With the Steelers looking for a third-stringer now and a potential franchise quarterback later, Haskins has the upper hand.

Do they make the roster? No.

Dwayne Haskins does make the roster

Kevin Rader, TE

Some fans believe Rader is the better option as the third tight end over Zach Gentry. Maybe he is on special teams, but is that enough?

Gentry looks bigger than he has the first two years, has confidence from Eric Ebron and his coaches. Rader, however, has the spunk of a player ready to make the team.

Camp will be about both - and if Rader is ready to make the Week 1 team, he needs to prove being an extra piece on the roster is more valuable than the third position spot.

Do they make the roster? No.

Zach Gentry does make the roster.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talks with rookie Dan Moore Jr. at OTAs.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talks with rookie Dan Moore Jr. at OTAs.

Dan Moore Jr. (Rookie), OT

The rookie class has impressed through OTAs and minicamp outside of Moore. The offensive tackle has looked slow, locked up and not ready to be an NFL lineman.

That can change - and usually does. Most linemen drafted in the middle rounds need time to develop. That'll likely be Moore, but you never know - training camp is a whole different beast.

Do they make the roster? No.

Joe Haeg does make the roster.

Isaiah Buggs, Henry Mondeaux, Isaiah Loudermilk (Rookie), DT

The Steelers need depth at the defensive line, but they don't really have the greatest options. Outside of Chris Wormley, it's a group of four younger players who haven't proven enough to be deadlocked into a roster spot.

Carlos Davis seems to be the only defensive lineman in the mix that you feel 100% confident in to be on the 53-man team. And, of course, Wormley. Outside of those two, it's Buggs and Mondeaux fighting for the remaining spots, with Loudermilk looking to earn his place in the NFL.

The fact the Steelers traded up to draft Loudermilk might mean he sits pretty high on their list. It could also mean nothing right now.

Do they make the roster? Loudermilk and Mondeeaux do.

Quincy Roche (Rookie), Edge

The sixth-round rookie might be the Steelers' best shot at depth behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, but I'm not too sure he'll be their best option come Week 1.

The Steelers are still in the market for an edge rusher and could find one sooner rather than later once training camp starts. Still, Roche should have a good chance at contributing to special teams and as a deep depth piece.

Do they make the roster? Yes.

Marcus Allen, Buddy Johnson (Rookie), ILB

The Steelers made their inside linebacker position interesting when they re-signed Vince Williams. Now, it'll come down to Allen and Johnson to prove they either deserve the final roster spot or they should both be on the team.

These two are must-watches at training camp. Not for what they do on defense, but what their roles are on special teams.

Danny Smith loves his inside linebackers. Allen has played a decently large role for him when on the active roster. Now, he might have to convince Tomlin they have to keep them both.

Do they make the roster? Yes.

Antoine Brooks Jr., Lamont Wade (UDFA), Shakur Brown (UDFA), DB

The Steelers have questions all over the place. Their biggest one, however, might be who's replacing Mike Hilton at nickelback. As of right now, Brooks, Brown and maybe Wade could be the top prospects for the job.

All three of these players fall alongside or behind Arthur Maulet. The former Jets defensive back has NFL experience and looks physically equipped to contribute to a defense. Chances are he's a lock for the roster.

He isn't a lock for the starting job at nickel and until someone secures that, all of these players are in the running for a spot on the team and a starting gig.

Do they make the team? Brooks does.

Pressley Harvin III (Rookie), Jordan Berry, P

The. Most. Exciting. Position Battle. This. Offseason.

Harvin vs. Berry is heating up to be something big at camp. Most believes Berry already lost his job when the Steelers used a seventh-round pick on a punter. Nope. Since OTAs, Berry has kept himself alive and has out-shined Harvin as much as Harvin has outshined him.

Don't rule either out, even if it heads into the regular season. These two know what's on the line and are soaking in every moment of the pressure.

Who would've thought the punter battle would be the must-watch event of Steelers training camp?

Do they make the team? Harvin does.

Noah Strackbein is a Publisher with AllSteelers. Follow Noah on Twitter @NoahStrack, and AllSteelers @si_steelers.

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