The Steelers have one of the oldest offensive line units in the NFL. Here’s why an interior offensive lineman makes sense in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Steelers have several needs heading into the 2020 offseason – most coming on the offensive side of the ball. While we can debate all we want about possible positions Pittsburgh would be interested in taking early in the draft this year, it’s hard to ignore one of the NFL’s oldest offensive lines.
Ramon Foster is coming off his worst graded season since his rookie year in 2009, and he turned 34 years old this offseason. Foster is entering his 12th NFL season and has just one year left on his contract. However, the Steelers could save $4 million in cap space by cutting him this offseason.
His backup, B.J. Finney (who was the primary backup at both guard and center), is an unrestricted free agent this year, and he will likely test the market to see if he can find work as a starter. In addition, Maurkice Pouncey was the 35th ranked center in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus. Despite being voted into the Pro Bowl, the 30-year old is not the same player he once was.
Because of this, the Steelers will soon need help at interior offensive line. In my latest second-round mock, I have them going with Wisconsin offensive lineman, Tyler Biadasz.
Biadasz lined up at center for the Badgers but has the size and versatility to play guard at the next level as well. At 6’3” and 321 pounds, Biadasz is a big-bodied guard who can anchor in the pass and bullies defenders in the run game.
Here’s a player summary of Biadasz from Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network:
Tyler Biadasz has all the promise and potential to be a high end starting Center in the NFL. But his 2019 film showed alarming regression nearly across the board — he’s going to have to recapture his functional mobility and technique of his early days at Wisconsin if he is to reach his potential. Given his ceiling as a fit in nearly any system, he’s worth consideration on Day 2 of the draft. But given his risk and inconsistency, it’s hard to advocate drafting him earlier or based on prior year’s film.
Biadasz has some concerns about the hip surgery he had in 2019, and his play was more impressive in 2017 and 2018 than it was last year. However, he is a player that possesses NFL strength and has the body of work to be a long-time starter at the next level.
Even if the Steelers stick with Ramon Foster for another season, there is no question they need to add some depth along the interior of their offensive line. Pittsburgh hasn’t spent higher than a third-round pick on the offensive line since taking David DeCastro and Mike Adams with back-to-back picks in 2012, but it appears that ignoring the position for so long has finally started to catch up with them.
With Mike Munchak no longer with the team, Pittsburgh can’t rely on their offensive line coach to continue to turn undrafted players like Alejandro Villanueva, B.J. Finney, and Matt Feiler into success stories.
Pittsburgh needs more talent and youth along the interior offensive line, and Tyler Biadasz could provide that. Taking an interior offensive lineman may not be the flashiest pick, but it’s one that has been a long time coming.