2020 Draft: What LB positions will be available for the Steelers?
Last year three MLBs were taken before pick 49, with two of the three being first-rounders. Those taken were Devin White, Devin Bush, and Jahlani Tavai. Both of the Devin’s played very well in their rookie years Tavai was more of a mixed bag overall.
2018 saw five MLBs go before 49, again with only one of them going in the second. Those taken were Roquan Smith, Tremaine Edmunds, Leighton Vander Esch, Rashaan Evans, and Darius Leonard. The biggest disappointment is Evans, but even he has become a steady player for the Titans. Leonard was a small-school player who has turned into an absolute stud with the Colts.
2017 dropped the number taken back down to three, as Haason Reddick, Jarrad Davis, and Reuben Foster were all selected in the first round. This group was been the biggest disappointment of the three years. Foster had some legal issues that have dampened his career while Reddick and Davis have struggled to hold down their starting roles since being selected.
Crunching the numbers, the average number of MLBs taken before pick 49 is 3.66. This means that a player like Akeem Davis-Gaither would be the realistic target at 49, while a best-case scenario says the Steelers will have Malik Harrison to select while the worst-case says Logan Wilson will be the top option.
While each of these names presents some intriguing play, none of them scream second-round value. While there is an obvious hole on the team behind the starters, it may not be a position that is addressed early in the draft. As well, the team has displayed an interest in a hybrid S/LB position that could aid the team’s depth there.
With LB going to be brought in at some point, be aware of the names that make sense for where the Steelers pick. Earlier on, the value will be with the pass rushers seemingly while the later round options may better suit the MLBs.