The 2017 NFL Draft definitely boosted the Pittsburgh Steelers roster, but did it help or hurt their Super Bowl odds?
Heading into the NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers had one major roadblock standing in their way of a Super Bowl. The New England Patriots seem to always have Pittsburgh’s number, but after a great draft class, the Steelers were hoping they did enough to escape Tom Brady and the Pats.
Instead, what the draft did was give them more competition. Not only did the Houston Texans finally get a quarterback, the Cincinnati Bengals complete their offense, and the Denver Broncos may have finally started putting their offensive line together, but a team that should be good had decent drafts.
The Cleveland Browns now have two defensive threats Pittsburgh always needs to worry about twice a year. The New York Jets added two incredible safeties. Even the Buffalo Bills may finally have a team to compete for the playoffs.
It’s a dangerous world out there for the Steelers. Instead of one team, they need to worry about; they now have the entire AFC. With the talent they have on this team, this worrying may be overexaggerated, but you can never sleep on a conference now filled with young stars.
Top priority is still New England. The Steelers now need to make sure they can escape the division, though, before they even get a shot at him. With the Bengals’ insane looking offense and Baltimore’s defense now ready to return to its glory days, the Steelers will battle six games of their regular season with teams now full of breakout potential.
According to the Bovada Sportsbook, the Steelers now have 12/1 odds to win Super Bowl LII. Not that those are terrible odds or mean anything on if they will actually win the Super Bowl, but it shows that people have noticed the increase in competition.
It’s a wide open AFC this season. There wasn’t a team (besides the Chicago Bears) that didn’t pull off a great draft. If the Browns did something right you know, there’s reason to be concerned.
They still have the upper hand on most AFC teams. Facing a conference this tough isn’t going to be easy, though. They could take it as preparation for the games they’ll have in the playoffs, but it could also be a wear and tear factor they’d rather not deal with.
Either way, it’s a conference they’re not happy to be a part of. It’s anyone’s year this season. No matter who you are, you come into 2017 with just as much of a chance as the Steelers. If you’re a playoff team who scored as big in the draft, the Super Bowl appearance is just as much yours as it is Pittsburgh’s.
Who knows what’s going to happen. This whole thing can be wrong, and the AFC can be Patriots-Steelers just like it usually is. Or, it could be a battle between all 16 teams.
The future is still unwritten, but from what the NFL Draft offered, the AFC just became an ocean filled with deadly sharks.
Hopefully, the Steelers have what it takes to fight off every last one of them.