The Pittsburgh Steelers have a few options to look at when it comes to this year’s NFL Draft.
The Steelers may not need a quarterback next season as Landry Jones and Josh Dobbs are both under contract. The problem comes if Ben Roethlisberger retires. If Ben comes back for another year, then the Steelers should keep an eye out for a quarterback that may fall to them or if they really like one trade ahead for one. The other possibility is that Ben retires and then drafting a quarterback becomes their top priority.
This is a critical position for this year’s draft for the Steelers. Vince Williams will be under contract for the BUCK position, but there is a gaping hole at the MACK position. Sean Spence was brought in as a stopgap and I hope they retain him at least for some depth at the position going into the draft. However, Sean Spence is not the long-term answer and Ryan Shazier looks to be done, sadly.
This is a position that they don’t have to draft as McDonald, James and Grimble will all be able to come back next year; however, it is a position you would like to see the Steelers upgrade. If a big, move tight end falls to them, the hope is that the Steelers will seize the opportunity.
Mike Mitchell will be back next year, but the Steelers need to have a succession plan at the free safety position. It might be nice to draft a safety that can play in the dime to start and then eventually take over for Mike Mitchell.
Now, the only receiver they are losing to free agency is Justin Hunter, but they need to reload that the position because after 2018, Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers and special teamer Darius Heyward-Bey are all free agents. Having a receiver a year developed will help soften the blow for when those guys become free agents. Also, the Steelers have had a lot of success drafting receivers.
The Steelers added TJ Watt, but there is still some turnover coming at the position. The Steelers have to decide if they will pick up Bud Dupree’s fifth-year option and if not, they will need to find a replacement for him. They also lost some depth cutting James Harrison and Arthur Moats is a free agent. Do not forget Anthony Chickillo will be a restricted free agent.
The Steelers may also want to add an interior lineman to their roster. Ramon Foster is getting up there in age and BJ Finney may have to take over next year. Either way, it looks like Chris Hubbard has played himself into “starting right tackle money” and thus will leave a need for an extra interior lineman.
Now, this is something that they can find at the end of the draft, but it would be nice to see the Steelers get an upgrade over Dan McCullers at nose tackle. LT Walton and Tyson Alualu can play in a pinch, but they could use a big body in case Javon Hargrave gets hurt.
The Steelers have used many different pieces and maybe Brian Allen is the answer on one side, but Darius Heyward-Bey is not the long-term answer on the other side. Mike Hilton has shown some things, but his main job ought to be in the slot.
There are plenty of names out there that Pittsburgh should look at. With questions on returning players coming in the offseason, the Steelers will be looking into a variety of options during the 2018 draft.