The Steelers will look to fill some areas of need in the 2020 NFL Draft, but is Kevin Colbert leaning towards a different direction than the general media?
Since the season ended, fans and media outlets alike have formulated opinions of the Steelers biggest draft needs this April. Tight end always seems to be a popular option with the current state of Vance McDonald’s contract and Nick Vannett’s free-agent status. Media circles have also mentioned positions like running back, receiver, offensive guard, and even quarterback.
“It is an unusually strong class for outside linebackers, and we have gone through it a few times and we still feel that way. And then offensive tackles, it is a very strong draft for them as well. That is kind of where the draft heads in modern day football because the way they are playing in high school and college.”
We can argue back and forth what Pittsburgh’s biggest needs are heading into the 2020 season, but the fact that he brought up outside linebackers and offensive tackles is telling.
Mike Tomlin made it a point directly following the 2019 season to say that getting a deal done with Bud Dupree is a priority this offseason. Perhaps Pittsburgh doesn’t believe they will be able to get one done at this point.
If that’s the case, outside linebacker is definitely in play for the Steelers in the second round. Some of the names who could be available at that point include Julian Okwara, Curtis Weaver, Josh Uche, and Terrell Lewis.
Interestingly. Colbert also made note of the offensive tackle depth in this class. Matt Feiler, Alejandro Villanueva, and Zach Banner will return for the 2020 season, while Chukwuma Okorafor still has two years left on his rookie deal.
Still, no contract other than Okorafor’s extends beyond next season, and the Steelers could look to add youth to one of the NFL’s oldest offensive line groups. Some of the players who could be available in the second round to Pittsburgh include Josh Jones, Austin Jackson, Saahdiq Charles, and Ben Bartch.
It’s important to remember that just because Colbert happened to mention these two positions to the media doesn’t mean he intends to go that direction early (or at all) in the draft. However, Pittsburgh’s front office usually doesn’t beat around the bush or cast smoke screens of their plan.
We don’t know the future of Bud Dupree or what will happen with some of their offensive tackles after this season. For now, we can at least assume that Colbert and his staff have an interest in these two positions.