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Projected Depth Chart, Rosters, and Predictions

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While the Pittsburgh Steelers failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2019, they managed to win nine games, keeping Mike Tomlin’s lifetime streak of above .500 seasons intact. Now that Kenny Pickett has a year of NFL experience under his belt, can the Steelers head back to the postseason next year after upgrading at several positions?

Let’s take a look back at Pittsburgh’s offseason moves as we preview the Steelers’ 2023 campaign.

Everything You Need Ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 NFL Season

While the Steelers will bring back the core of their roster from last year, they’ve made significant additions at a few critical spots.

Pittsburgh Steelers Roster Changes

  • Players Signed
    • T Le’Raven Clark
    • G Nate Herbig
    • G Isaac Seumalo
    • DT Breiden Fehoko
    • DT Larry Ogunjobi
    • DL Armon Watts
    • LB Cole Holcomb
    • LB Elandon Roberts
    • CB Patrick Peterson
    • CB Chandon Sullivan
    • S Damontae Kazee
  • Players Drafted
    • OT Broderick Jones
    • CB Joey Porter Jr.
    • DT Keeanu Benton
    • TE Darnell Washington
    • EDGE Nick Herbig
    • CB Cory Trice
    • OL Spencer Anderson
  • Players Acquired Via Trade
    • WR Allen Robinson
      • The Steelers acquired Robinson and a 2023 seventh-round pick (No. 251) from the Rams in exchange for a 2023 seventh-round pick (No. 234).
  • Players Lost
    • QB Mason Rudolph
    • EDGE Malik Reed (Dolphins)
    • DT Tyson Alualu
    • DT Chris Wormley
    • LB Devin Bush (Seahawks)
    • LB Myles Jack
    • LB Robert Spillane (Raiders)
    • CB Cameron Sutton (Lions)
    • S Terrell Edmunds (Eagles)

Any discussion of Pittsburgh’s offseason has to start with the offensive line. Last year, the Steelers signed guard James Daniels and center Mason Cole to moderately-priced deals, but they still had work to do.

First, Pittsburgh landed former Eagles guard Isaac Seumalo for three years and $24 million, giving them a stabilizing presence on the interior. Then, they traded ahead of the tackle-needy Jets in the draft to find Broderick Jones, the best offensive tackle remaining on the board. Jones should be the Steelers’ Day 1 left tackle, allowing former starter Dan Moore Jr. to compete with Chukwuma Okorafor for right tackle duties.

MORE: FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator — With Trades!

The only other major offensive change for Pittsburgh will be at receiver, where Allen Robinson II now projects as the club’s WR3 behind Diontae Johnson and George Pickens. The Steelers gave up next to nothing to acquire Robinson from the Rams with the hope the 29-year-old can play like he did in 2020 (102-1,1250-6) while seeing time in the slot and outside.

On defense, Pittsburgh lost its best cornerback — Cam Sutton — to the Lions in free agency, but they’ve added replacements through multiple avenues. Patrick Peterson and Chandon Sullivan came aboard as FA signings, while Steelers legacy player Joey Porter Jr. should be an immediate starter for his father’s old team.

Pittsburgh Steelers Coaching Staff in 2023

  • Head Coach: Mike Tomlin
  • Offensive Coordinator: Matt Canada
    • QB coach: Mike Sullivan
    • RB coach: Eddie Faulkner
    • WR coach: Frisman Jackson
    • TE coach: Alfredo Roberts
    • OL coach: Pat Meyer
  • Defensive Coordinator: Teryl Austin
    • DL coach: Karl Dunbar
    • ILB coach: Aaron Curry
    • OLB coach: Denzel Martin
    • Secondary coach: Grady Brown
  • Special Teams Coordinator: Danny Smith

Predicting the Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart

Pittsburgh Steelers Season Preview: Projected Depth Chart, Rosters, and Predictions

Offensive Depth Chart

  • QB: Kenny Pickett, Mitchell Trubisky, Tanner Morgan
  • RB: Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, Anthony McFarland Jr., Jason Huntley
  • WR: Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Allen Robinson II, Calvin Austin III, Gunner Olszewski, Miles Boykin
  • TE: Pat Freiermuth, Zach Gentry, Darnell Washington, Connor Heyward
  • LT: Broderick Jones, Dan Moore Jr.
  • LG: Isaac Seumalo, Kevin Dotson, Kendrick Green
  • C: Mason Cole, Spencer Anderson
  • RG: James Daniels, Nate Herbig
  • RT: Chukwuma Okorafor, Le’Raven Clark

Defensive Depth Chart

  • DT: Cameron Heyward, Larry Ogunjobi, Keeanu Benton, DeMarvin Leal, Montravius Adams, Armon Watts
  • EDGE: T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith, Nick Herbig, Quincy Roche
  • LB: Cole Holcomb, Elandon Roberts, Tanner Muse, Mark Robinson
  • CB: Patrick Peterson, Joey Porter Jr., Ahkello Witherspoon, Levi Wallace, Chandon Sullivan
  • S: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee, Tre Norwood, Miles Killebrew

Special Teams Depth Chart

  • K: Chris Boswell
  • P: Pressley Harvin III
  • LS: Christian Kuntz
  • KR: Gunner Olszewski
  • PR: Gunner Olszewski

2022 Results and Standings

The Steelers’ 2022 campaign was the tale of two seasons. Mitch Trubisky started the year as Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback, but Pickett replaced him at halftime of Week 4 against the Jets. The Steelers lost that game to fall to 1-3 and were 2-6 by the time their Week 9 bye approached.

But things started to turn around when Pittsburgh defeated the Saints in Week 10. The Steelers went 7-2 after the bye, getting back to .500 with a Week 17 win over the Ravens and planting themselves in the playoff conversation heading into Week 18.

MORE: Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 NFL Schedule

Pittsburgh could have entered the dance had they gotten some help in the season’s final week. The Steelers ended up defeating the Browns in Week 18, but they needed both the Patriots and the Dolphins to lose to garner postseason spot. While New England did its part with a loss to Buffalo, Miami took down New York to claim the AFC’s seventh seed and leave the Steelers at home.

2023 Power Ranking and Season Outlook

The Steelers ranked 19th in Dalton Miller’s post-draft NFL Power Rankings, firmly planted in a tier with the NFL’s other fringe playoff contenders.

Pittsburgh has the pieces in place on both sides of the ball to compete for the postseason, but the quality of quarterbacks in the AFC — including Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, and Aaron Rodgers, among others — means Pickett will need to take a step forward in 2022 for the Steelers to enter the playoff fray.

The good news is that Pickett already showed signs of development last season. After ranking 24th among 26 qualifiers in expected points added per play from Weeks 4-8 (his first three starts plus a half-game against the Jets), Pickett finished 11th in EPA per play after the Steelers’ bye. Unsurprisingly, Pittsburgh’s offense also showed drastic improvement during that stretch, moving from 21st in DVOA before the bye to 10th afterward.

It wasn’t just the offensive side of the ball that corrected itself over the second half of the season. The Steelers’ defense also produced an uptick in production, finishing fourth in defensive DVOA post-bye after ranking 27th over the first nine weeks of the year. A defensive roster headlined by T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Cameron Heyward will always boast an extremely high floor.

Pittsburgh’s win total for the 2023 campaign is set at 8.5, but the Steelers may have more of a ceiling than any AFC team with a win projection under 9. The AFC is a slaughterhouse, and the Steelers profile as the worst team in the AFC North. Nine wins feel right (given that we’ll never bet against Tomlin), but there’s room for a 10-win season and a playoff appearance in Pittsburgh.



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Why Did AD Mitchell Transfer? Explaining the WR’s Decision To Leave Georgia for Texas

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Adonai (AD) Mitchell is one of the most explosive playmakers in college football. The junior wide receiver plays for the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12 Conference. He transferred from Georgia in 2022, where he was a contributor for two seasons. Mitchell is known best for catching four touchdowns in four College Football Playoff games for the Bulldogs.

But why did the future NFL Draft prospect transfer? And what was his reasoning behind his decision?

Why AD Mitchell Transfer From Georgia

Mitchell started 12 out of 15 games for the Bulldogs in 2021, catching touchdowns in both the playoff semifinal and championship games, and helped the team win their first title since 1980.

Although sidelined by an ankle injury for most of the 2022 season, Mitchell returned in time for the playoffs and caught touchdowns in both games, helping Georgia win back-to-back titles.

Shortly after winning the championship game against TCU, Mitchell transferred schools with his two-year-old daughter, Icylinn, in mind.

In less than a fortnight, he declared his plans to go to Texas. While he could have remained in Athens and basked in the applause as a Bulldog, he returned to Texas due to family reasons. Mitchell had spent most of his high school football career in Missouri City, Texas — close to Houston — until he relocated to Tennessee before his final year.

He closed the 900-mile distance to reunite with his family and join the explosive Longhorns offense. Being a draft-eligible junior made it an important decision.

Mitchell’s transfer announcement on social media included a photo of himself with Icylinn in his lap. She was holding a football, and both were dressed in Longhorns gear.

Now, instead of just FaceTime calls with his daughter, Mitchell can jump in the car for a two-hour drive for visits, which Norman Mitchell said happened often during the offseason.

“That’s honestly been the best part,” Mitchell said when asked about coming home to family. “When I was away, you know, I didn’t get that. I didn’t get that time with my mom. I didn’t get that time with my family and, most of all, my daughter.”

Mitchell joined a Texas team that was already well-stocked with receivers. His coaches were aware of his abilities, and Mitchell quickly sparked excitement among fans with an impressive one-handed catch during the spring game. He quickly brought that same energy on the field, racking up 78 yards and two touchdowns against Alabama in Week 2.

“He’s been in the fire, has been in the big games with big plays,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said. “He brings instant credibility and backs it up.”

MORE: FREE Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

Standing 6’4″ with blazing speed, Mitchell is a legitimate home-run threat. But he is also a precise route-runner, able to line up inside and outside and attack both in the vertical passing and quick games.

Mitchell is incredibly gifted, and he’s made his way into our 2024 NFL Draft big board as a top-100 talent. He could make his way into the first round due to his unique blend of size and speed.

Ian Valentino is a Fantasy and Betting Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Ian’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @NFLFilmStudy.

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What We Know About the Colorado Safety

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Colorado Buffaloes safety Shilo Sanders, son of head coach Deion Sanders, has been dealing with an unknown, undisclosed injury that has left his status up in the air against USC in Week 5. Will Sanders play this week, and if not, when will he return to action?

Shilo Sanders Injury Update

Sanders has been downgraded to doubtful to play against the eighth-ranked USC Trojans on Saturday, per Pete Thamel of ESPN. Sanders didn’t practice this week after being taken to the emergency room following last week’s loss against Oregon. The senior safety told Well Off Media he was urinating blood due to a kidney injury.

“I can’t say I didn’t play hard. I’m peeing blood right now,” Sanders said after getting off the plane. “I made a tackle, and I landed on my kidney or something. I got to go to the ER to get checked.”

Sanders was marked as questionable to play throughout the week, but on Saturday, it was revealed that he was not expected to play. Rodrick Ward is expected to start in his place.

MORE: Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

Colorado already was at a major talent disadvantage in this game. Star receiver and cornerback Travis Hunter is out with his own lacerated kidney, and USC is one of the most powerful offenses in the nation. Losing Sanders further complicates things for a team that ranks 111th in passing defense.

Sanders has racked up 26 tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble in 2023. Previously an unheralded defender, the 6’0″, 195-pounder began his career at South Carolina before transferring to Jackson State when his father took the head coaching job. Sanders followed his father and his brother, Shedeur Sanders, to Colorado.

Shilo has emerged as a potential 2024 NFL Draft prospect in his own right. He has another year of eligibility, so there’s no guarantee he’ll come out this year.

We’ll continue to update this article as new information emerges.

Ian Valentino is a Fantasy and Betting Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Ian’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @NFLFilmStudy.

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Can Miami Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle Continue Dominance of Buffalo Bills?

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Jaylen Waddle is back for the Miami Dolphins, and not a moment too soon.

The third-year wide receiver cleared the concussion protocol Thursday, which is a big boon to a Dolphins receiver room that is banged up. River Cracraft is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, and Erik Ezukanma has a neck issue.

But the No. 1 reason why it’s important for the Dolphins to have Waddle on the field Sunday? Except for one terrible drop in the Dolphins-Bills playoff game in January, he kind of owns Buffalo.

From the current NFL standings to team depth charts to coverage of every game in the 18-week NFL schedule, we have all the news from around the league to keep you up to speed!

Miami Dolphins’ Jaylen Waddle Set To Make His Return

In four regular-season games against the Bills, Waddle has 17 catches for 293 yards and a touchdown. His 17.2 yards-per-catch average against the Bills in his career is the second-highest among any teams he’s faced at least twice (Chargers, 18.2).

In two 2022 regular-season games last year, he was electric.

Waddle went 3-114-1 in the Dolphins’ Week 14 loss and 4-102-0 in their Week 3 win.

Quick math: That’s an absurd average of 30.9 yards per catch and 17.4 yards per target.

Now add that to a Dolphins offense that dropped 70 points a week ago against the Broncos, and the scoreboard operator at Highmark Stadium would be advised to get a good night’s rest on Saturday.

“Only time will tell, I guess,” Waddle said this week. “But 70 is historical. It’s a tribute to the guys that we’ve got that are unspoken heroes that really don’t get too much glory that go out there and play.”

What does Waddle’s return mean for Tyreek Hill?

“Guys can’t double then,” Hill said. “Teams aren’t able to just put me as the key focal point. You have two guys on the same team who can do literally the same thing. It’s more dangerous when we’re both on the field.“

So good luck to cornerback Christian Benford, who has allowed 15 yards per completion and a 99.3 passer rating this year. Plus, the Bills’ secondary is banged up, with safety Jordan Poyer (15.7 yards per completion, 113.5 passer rating) dealing with a knee injury.

But don’t sleep on the Bills’ defense, which has been opportunistic in 2023.

MORE: Miami Dolphins Depth Chart

They lead the NFL in opponent passer rating (54), interceptions (7), and turnovers (9) but are 16th in yards per pass allowed (6.4).

“You want to talk about making people pay for their mistakes,” Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said this week. “If they get their hands on any sort of ball, they are turning the ball over. It’s a very, very important thing to be good at.”

Listen to the PFN Dolphins Podcast

Listen to the PFN Dolphins Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Dolphins Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Dolphins Podcast on our NFL YouTube channel.

Adam Beasley is Pro Football Network’s Director of Original Content and Brand Development. You can read all of Adam’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @AdamHBeasley.





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