The Steelers have been meeting players prior to the draft, and not all defense, they’ve met plenty of offensive prospects.
Most of the focus of the Steelers offseason has been on the defense. Most that focus is on the secondary. Though all of this is justified the offense could use a few things too. The offense is great of course, the envy of the league, but there’s no such thing as too good.
Obviously the Steelers are not going to be looking for any starters in their offensive skill positions except maybe tight end. But they do need a tight end.
Also, they could use some depth along the offensive line. Depending on how things go with free agents Ramon Foster and Kelvin Beachum they might need a starter here too.
This season, for the second season in a row, we learned a valuable lesson about running back depth. What did we learn? It’s critical. Can’t have too much of the stuff.
Finally, and I hate to even bring this up, but our boy Ben is getting older. Yes, he surely has several great, possible Super Bowl level seasons left, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a Steve Young or an Aaron Rodgers to take the reins and not miss a beat? Not that QB is going to come up in the 1st round.
So we can speculate, and I certainly have, on who the Steelers would pick, we can say who they should pick, every angle. But how do we know who the Steelers want?
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The best we have to work with is who they’re meeting with. So here’s a run down of who the Steelers are talking to on offense.
Tight end is a category all it’s own in this case because it’s the only real need on offense. It’s the only undeniable, unconditional need the offense has. And yet, the Steelers have only really met with one tight end as far as has been reported, but it’s a good one.
Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford – Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the Steelers met with Austin Hooper. He’s 6′ 4″ and weighs 255 pounds. Hooper would be a fine candidate for the heir to the Miller thrown. He’s a by most account the second best tight end in the draft. He has good hands and good athletic ability but is also well rounded and is strong blocking too.
Quarterback is it’s own category for one simple reason: they met with a lot of quarterbacks. It makes sense. Ben’s getting older of course. But the depth behind him is too. Bruce Gradkowski might be done with the Steelers and even if he’s not he’s comfortably north of 30. Plus, Landry Jones is just never going to be it. So it’s worth a look at some quarterbacks.
Vernon Adams, QB, Oregon – Rand Getlin of NFL Network reported that the Steelers met with Adams. He’s 5’11” 200 pounds. He’s a small quarterback but he’s very mobile and can make plays on the fly. He transferred to Oregon where he won the starting job immediately. He impressed at the Shrine Game. He’d be a third day pick and a project but the Steelers have time.
Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State – Chase Goodbread of NFL.com reported that the Steelers met with Prescott. He’s 6’2″ and 226 pounds. Prescott is definitely the most touted prospect they’ve interviewed among the QBs. Prescott is an effective dual threat quarterback who is very coachable and has great leadership skills. The Steelers would need to work on some technique and accuracy but there’s power and awareness already.
Cody Kessler, QB, USC – Walter Cherepinsky of Walter Football reported that the Steelers met with Kessler. He’s 6’1″ 220 pounds. Kessler’s production speaks for itself. He throws accurately, for a lot of yards, and few interceptions. His size and a rough senior year due to injuries and his coach being fired will pull him into day three but as I said, he’s got the stats.
Welp, here’s the rest. We have a running back. Have to have those. And the Steelers are also looking at some pretty high round offensive linemen as well.
Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State – Walter Cherepinsky of Walter Football reported that the Steelers met with Ervin. He’s 5′ 10″ 192 pounds. He also runs a 4.4 40 yard dash. Ervin would be a 2nd or early third day pick most likely. He fits the Steelers with his ability to catch and to run with awareness. He lacks size but the Steelers could put him in the weight room for a year and when Williams is a free agent perhaps we’ll have a new number 2 ready.
Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford – Mark Kaboly of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that the Steelers will meet with Garnett. He’s 6’4 and 312 pounds. Garnett is one of the top guards in the draft and the Steelers have had success before the Stanford guards. Like DeCastro, Garnett also has considerable strength but with quickness to pull outside and move in space. He won the 2015 Outland Trophy.
Taylor Decker, T, Ohio State – Josh Taylor of Trib Live Radio reported that the Steelers had met with Decker. He’s 6’7″ 310 pounds. Decker is a 1st, maybe 2nd round draft pick. He’s good enough that if he’s in, Beachum is out. He started 42 straight games and was part of several great teams, great running teams, including a national champion. Decker’s only real issue is his height but he’s got good bend and gives Munchak a lot to work with.