Steelers top five off-season priorities before the 2020 season

Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

As the combine, free agency and the draft quickly approach, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the midst of making their offseason plans and prioritizing what moves they need to make to strengthen their squad for the 2020 season.

While Steelers have a solid team, with questions looming on both offense and defense in a few areas, they’ll need to prioritize which moves they have to make and how they’ll make them.

I’ve decided to prioritize their moves for them, to save Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin the time.

Priority #1

Many people won’t rank this first and the Steelers already said they won’t do this but they need to sign a veteran quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger.

There are no guarantees that Ben will be able to start week one, despite what the team is putting out there right now.  There are also no guarantees that at 38 years old, Big Ben will be able to play a full 16 game schedule without getting hurt.

Does the team really want to rely on Mason Rudolph, Duck Hodges or Paxton Lynch as a fill-in guy, or even worse, if Ben goes down for the count as he did in 2020, a full-time starter?  No, they need a guy that is capable of winning games.

There are guys out there that can play that role such as Marcus Mariota, Chase Daniel, Case Keenum or even AJ McCarron.  I would feel better about all of those guys over what the Steelers currently have.

Priority #2

They need to sign Bud Dupree. Dupree was a game-changing EDGE rusher that helped elevate this defense to one of the best in the NFL.

The team needs to build on the momentum and see if Dupree can recapture that form after signing a big deal. If not, in this NFL, it’s only a one-year investment before you can get out of the contract.

Priority #3

They need to find a new running back.  My preference would be via the draft but one way or the other they need to find a running back they can count on.

In doing so, I would consider Benny Snell as the number two back and I would find a way to move on from the often injured James Conner.  If they can trade Conner for a draft pick, they should do it.  He’ll miss at least half the season next year with some kind of ailment anyway.

Priority #4

They should find another wide receiver.  I think JuJu Smith-Schuster will be better than he was last year but won’t be as good as 2018.

I actually am not convinced he’s a #1 receiver and I wasn’t even after 2018.  Like him or not, Antonio Brown was the biggest reason Smith-Schuster did as well as he did.  Diontae Johnson is solid but I’d like to see another go-to guy to mix in with these two.

Priority #5

They need to either find a new tight end via the draft or free agency or they need to work on the playbook to involve Vance McDonald more next season.  I think McDonald can be great but if the playbook doesn’t call for it, we’ll never see it.

Next. 3 positions the Steelers have neglected too long in the NFL Draft. dark

As far as decisions go, we’ll see how the Steelers truly prioritize things starting in mid to late March. Don’t expect much from them early in free agency, aside from hopefully locking down Bud Dupree.