5. Tight End
The Steelers have a solid tight end group but no true franchise player. Vance McDonald and Jesse James are good pieces but neither of them are a star. McDonald was someone that was considered a possible cap casualty earlier in the offseason but is a useful player.
James is limited but seems to come up with big catches when needed. The team could look at someone like Dallas Goedert, a well rounded prospect and rare talent.
4. Outside Linebacker
Pittsburgh appears to have found the answer at one outside linebacker spot in T.J. Watt. The problem is on the other side where Bud Dupree who’s likely entering a contract year is the incumbent starter. It seems unlikely that the team picks up his fifth-year option and it would be smart to start looking for a replacement.
Pass rusher is a premier position and would be higher but the Steelers get a lot of pass rush from other positions. Although he has some off the field concerns LSU’s Arden Key could be a day two steal.
As Steelers fans, we have been fortunate to have a franchise quarterback for the past fourteen seasons. Now it appears Ben Roethlisberger is approaching the end of his career and the team needs to find his successor. Landry Jones is a backup, not a starter.
It all depends on what the team thinks they have in Josh Dobbs. If the team thinks he’s the answer, then quarterback really isn’t a need but the Steelers interest in Mason Rudolph suggests that isn’t the case.
2. Running Back
The running back position all depends on the state of negotiations with Le’Veon Bell. If the Steelers believe that they will get a deal done then running back is much lower on this list. If they aren’t going to get a long-term contract signed, the team will need his successor.
Bell could play this season on the tag and depart in free agency next year. If the team does select a back Derrious Guice from LSU seems the most likely option.
1. Inside Linebacker
The Steelers biggest need heading into the draft is inside linebacker. Jon Bostic was a solid signing but he isn’t the long-term answer. Despite what he has said I am still skeptical about Ryan Shazier ever playing again which leaves a huge hole.
They have good depth and Vince Williams is a solid starter. What they don’t have is someone like Shazier who can run sideline to sideline and cover well. A good athlete like Alabama’s Raashan Evans could be the answer.