Will 2020 additions to Steelers have an immediate impact?
The Steelers added an athletic Tight End, a fullback and a lineman to the offense
In addition to drafting Claypool, the Steelers signed Eric Ebron, tight end, who most recently played for the Indianapolis Colts, in free agency. I would describe Ebron as an athletic tight end who can catch but may not be the blocker that Vance McDonald is.
Ebron’s best statistical year came in 2018 when he caught 66 passes for 750. Of those 66 catches, 13 went for TDs. That is exactly the kind of productivity the Steelers offense was lacking from the tight end position in 2019. So will Ebron have an immediate impact on the offense? That remains to be seen, but if he can replicate his 2018 campaign, I would say the Steelers offense will be one to be reckoned with.
The Steelers also signed Derek Watt, the brother of T.J. Watt, in free agency. Watt’s career statistics are probably what you would expect to see from a fullback, having made 19 rushing attempts for 49 yards with one TD. Watt also caught 10 passes for 152 yards.
Since the Steelers traditionally use the fullback as a lead blocker, if Watt can perform that function effectively, he will have an immediate impact in the running game. I would suspect that after finishing the 2019 season ranked 29th in average yards per game, we would want to re-establish the dominance at the line of scrimmage.
That is a nice segue into the other player whom the Steelers signed in free agency to presumably replace the retired Ramon Foster. Stefan Wisniewski, formerly of the Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs, will, most likely, be the starting left guard.
He has started 103 out of 134 games. He is the kind of veteran player the Steelers typically sign in free agency. If Wisniewski starts all 16 games and protects ‘Big Ben’, he will have an immediate impact on the offense.
Let’s turn our attention to the additions on the defensive side of the ball.