Following the Steelers drafts in the past five years, you can really see some trends in what they look for and how they build this team.
The Steelers have clear draft trends and this article can be a guide to predicting what players the Steelers will draft. There is overwhelming evidence that they like certain trends.
In the earlier rounds, they like a guy who can help out right away which differs from the early part of the Colbert era. In the early part of the Colbert era, the Steelers liked to develop their early picks until they were ready to contribute.
In the second round, the Steelers like to take a wide receiver and keep a consistent pipeline of receivers coming every year. This year it was Chase Claypool and last year it was Diontae Johnson.
In the third round, they like to develop a player into a starter for the future when the starter leaves the team.
The fourth through the sixth round is used to fill out their roster with talent at positions of need.
The seventh-round is where the Steelers like to develop a player who can help them at the line of scrimmage.
The Steelers have spent a lot of picks in the first round on their defensive starters. They spent a first on Cameron Heyward which ended up being a great pick. Their other defensive end (Stephon Tuitt) is first-round worthy despite being a second-round pick. ESPN even rated him as a first-rounder before the draft.
Their outside linebackers are surefire first-round picks. TJ Watt was taken in the first round and has been a star. Bud Dupree was also taken in the first round and finally lived up to his first-round billing in 2019.
The Steelers put a real premium on their mack linebacker. Ryan Shazier was taken with a top-15 pick and Devin Bush was taken #10 after trading three picks to the Broncos for him.
Their cornerbacks were acquired through free agency and that is because the Steelers have had trouble drafting corners. They spend a first-rounder on Artie Burns though although he didn’t pan out in Pittsburgh.
Safety has been another position where the Steelers have invested first-round picks. They traded their 2020 first-rounder to acquire stud free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. They also invested a first-round pick into Terrell Edmunds.