PITTSBURGH -- Cuts have been made. Changes happened. And finally, the Steelers 53-man roster is complete.
Now, it's time to talk about the depth chart. The Steelers will release their first official lineup on Monday, giving us answers to starting right tackle, wide receiver order and more. But for now, I'll make my prediction.
Benny Snell Jr.
Anthony McFarland Over Jaylen Samuels
Samuels has become less of a running back and more of a receiver this summer. Although he's been counted on infill of James Conner in the past, that role is now gone.
Benny Snell Jr. and McFarland have more vital runner skills than Samuels. Both bring more reliability to the position, and both of them will overstep Samuels.
Expectations for Samuels is more of a halfback-type player. He'll line up all over the field and play a number of positions in the offense. He won't take many running snaps, though.
Okorafor Wins the Battle
Zach Banner came into camp in the best shape of his life. Okorafor came in with stronger hand skills. And although they're both going to see the field a lot, it'll be Okorafor who gets the first shot at the starting job.
The Steelers drafted him with the expectation he'd eventually fill this role. They've invested in his development, and it's starting to show. Mike Tomlin may have said the initial depth chart with say "O-R" between the two. It'll be the third-round pick who gets the nod.
Ray-Ray McCloud at Slot
McCloud is here to replace Ryan Switzer, and hopefully, his flashiness continues to the regular season.
He came in with a little over two weeks to prove himself and did enough to push out a starting slot receiver and return man. That says something.
The Steelers don't have slot receiver in their depth chart, but it'll be McCloud who plays the short route, middle of the field game.
Marcus Allen at Linebacker
Allen will play a hybrid role this season. While listed as a safety, he's worked within the box for the last two weeks of training camp and seems to have found his new home at linebacker.
Don't expect to see a ton of Allen this season, but look for him to play more than he has the last two years. He made the roster with ease and is now working to earn a place in the rotation.
Maybe it starts on special teams, but there's going to be times Allen gets a chance to show himself during the season at linebacker.
The biggest takeaway from this defense is the lack of adjustments. Dan McCullers is gone, Allen is playing linebacker, and Curtis Riley is the new backup safety.
Besides those small adjustments, this group looks awfully familiar. For a group that led the NFL in turnovers last season, had a Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year finalists, you're more excited about no change than any.
Special Teams Takeaway:
Don't Sleep on Ray-Ray McCloud
There was one kick return for a touchdown during Steelers training camp. It was McCloud.
The 5'9 receiver is here to play a few roles for the Steelers, but his biggest will be in the return game. He'll work with Diontae Johnson and Cam Sutton, but if he's the one with the ball in his hands, he's proven he can make things happen.
He's a third-year journeyman, but sometimes, you just need the right fit. Pittsburgh looks to be it.