There were issues the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t address in the NFL Draft, but only because of the talent they could’ve picked from, not because they didn’t follow the right plan.
Not drafting an inside linebacker was the only problem in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2018 NFL Draft. Outside of that, they added all the pieces they could’ve. Maybe they didn’t fill every hole this roster had, but that wasn’t because of an unsuccessful draft.
Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert came into the draft with a plan. They found the holes that had the most talent within the draft class, and they addressed them. Instead of just running through every need of the team, they added stars, not bulk.
Now, critics are throwing out issue after issue about the Steelers’ draft class. No edge rush help. No inside linebacker. A downgrade at wide receiver. No tight end.
Pittsburgh knows this. They know all of this. But it wasn’t what would’ve made their team better, it just would’ve added players to a position that added no significant quality to this team.
2018 didn’t offer a mid-round edge rusher worthy of a pick. Adding a player was an option, but no better version of Anthony Chickillo was available, so why bring in a guy they already have?
Wide receiver? If you truly think James Washington is getting less than 84 targets in his rookie season and is going to cause more controversy than Martavis Bryant did you haven’t watched this kid play.
He’s a force on the football field who allows JuJu Smith-Schuster to get a bigger role and keep the same level of talent on the team. Him and Ben Roethlisberger will have a connection from day one. Something Bryant was never able to do in his first year back.
Tight end wasn’t even a question. There wasn’t even a tight end in this draft that would beat out Jesse James let along Vance McDonald. No Steelers fan wanted a new tight end, and no staff member did either.
It would’ve added to a position of mediocracy, with more mediocracy. McDonald and James, when healthy, are a dynamic duo. Pittsburgh wants that, not a rookie adding more reps that need to be filled.
Inside linebacker was the only position this team didn’t succeed in getting, and even that’s left up in the air. Marcus Allen and Terrell Edmunds are hard-hitting downfield safeties. Pittsburgh may be looking to fill two positions with one by adding both of these guys.
If they do play inside linebacker and safety, then the defense is virtually complete. That’s the expectation, and as long as they aren’t called upon to stuff the run on the regular, then they’ll fill the role well.
So, don’t believe everything you read. The Steelers did everything they wanted to in the draft, and made this team better. It may be a little different than what people imagined, but it isn’t a loss.
They’re only getting better than where they were a month ago. Now, it’s time to focus on getting these rookies ready for camp. And a Super Bowl run.