It’s clear to many that the Steelers have big needs at defensive back and tight end, but there are other needs that the team will have to address in order to field a championship roster.
While there are certainly major needs at safety, cornerback, and tight end, offensive guard could end up being a big need for the Steelers.
At the moment, David DeCastro and Ramon Foster hold down those two interior spots along the offensive line. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Steelers are unlikely to retain both Foster and left tackle Kelvin Beachum who are both free agents this year. With limited cap space and important an free agent like William Gay at a weak defensive position, that seems likely.
If it holds true, the Steelers might elect to go with Beachum. While his contract will certainly cost the Steelers more, his position is more valued and he is four years younger than Foster. Unless the Steelers were blown away with the play of Alejandro Villanueva in his relief of the injured Beachum, the team is unlikely to part with the best left tackle they’ve had in years.
That would leave a void on the interior of the offensive line. David DeCastro has proven to be an All Pro caliber player and another athlete along the interior could improve the already potent Steeler offense.
Foster has always graded well as a pass rusher, but doesn’t have the run blocking skills of DeCastro. This fact might lead to the Steelers looking for another strong pass blocker as a replacement.
Denver Kirkland could be a great late round prospect to compete to be Foster’s replacement, as suggested in Perry Biggerstaff’s mock draft on Still Curtain. Kirkland might be raw, but his competition would consist of Chris Hubbard, Doug Legursky, and Cody Wallace.
Losing Foster might hurt for a bit, but signing Beachum could also allow Villanueva to be a backup tackle on either the left or right side, adding depth on both ends of the offensive line.