The Pittsburgh Steelers Absolutely Cannot Draft An Offensive Player in the First Round


In today’s ESPN Steelers Mailbag with Scott Brown a Twitter question was asked when is the earliest the Pittsburgh Steelers would consider drafting an offensive player in the upcoming NFL Draft.  Just about a month ago Mike Tomlin said the Steelers will have the best offense in the NFL next season.  So why would the Steelers consider drafting another offensive player to an already potent group, when a cornerback, outside linebacker, interior lineman, or safety could all potentially help improve the defense?  Here is Brown’s answer, which is somewhat concerning.

"“I won’t rule out the first round since I think general manager Kevin Colbert is sincere when he says that the Steelers stick to their draft board and don’t draft for need.  Colbert, by the way, is not a big fan of the word “need” so it won’t be a shock if the Steelers use their first-round pick on an offensive player who falls to them, most likely an offensive lineman.  They could also take Minnesota’s Maxx Williams at No. 22 if they really like him.  The Steelers need to add young players at tight end, and Williams could be the ideal long-term replacement for Heath Miller.” -Brown on Steelers plans"

While tight end will eventually become a target in the near future with Heath Miller turning 33 this season, this is not the year to draft a replacement in the first round or even in the first two or three rounds.  Maxx Williams may turn out to be a great NFL player but the Steelers don’t need him for this upcoming season if they plan on actually winning games.  Colbert and the front office should recognize that improving their defense is the only way to draft in order to compete this season.

In recent history Colbert maybe didn’t have to draft based on need because his defense was stacked with talent but that is no longer the case.  His previous two first round picks, both linebackers, Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones have yet to prove their worth.  The defense has a ton of urgent holes that NEED to be filled.

The cornerback situation is a mess and Colbert has done nothing in previous drafts to help change that.  Curtis Brown is the only Steelers cornerback selected in the first three rounds since 2011.  He is no longer in the league.

If Colbert sticks to his draft board and selects a player that does not fill a need then it is proof that he doesn’t want or expect this team to win this season.  The Steelers clearly have the offense to get them into the playoffs.  We saw that last season.  We also saw a defense that continued to let up big plays and was unable to make big plays of their own.  The defensive unit needs help.  The offense, for the moment, does not.  There is no reason for the Steelers to use pick number 22 on an offensive player.

Next: Steelers MMQB

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