4 players who could tempt Steelers to go defense in round one of the NFL Draft

Micah Parsons Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)
Micah Parsons Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images) /
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The Steelers need a lot of help on the offensive side of the ball, but these four players could tempt them to take a defender with their first pick in the NFL Draft. 

There aren’t a lot of folks in the football media business who are currently slotting a defensive player to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and it’s not very hard to see why. Mike Tomlin’s offense fell apart down the stretch and the Steelers are lacking talent at a number of key positions.

Pittsburgh’s offensive line was in shambles last year, while their running backs completely underwhelmed. In addition, the Steelers have yet to find a do-it-all tight end since Heath Miller retired, and Ben Roethlisberger is clearly on his last legs.

But despite all of their needs on offense and the turnover that will no doubt take place on the roster this year (due to salary cap issues), the Steelers could be tempted to look to the defensive side of the ball at pick 24 if any of these four players are available:

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

A year ago at this time, I would have said there is no chance that Micah Parsons – one of the best linebacker prospects in years – would have a chance to fall to the 24th pick in the draft. While I would still say there are extremely slim odds of this happening, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Parsons has some character concerns as he was involved in a bullying incident at Penn State, and his maturity has been questioned by many in NFL circles. Because off-the-ball linebackers have been a bit devalued in recent years, he no longer should be considered a lock to go high in the first round like he once was. If he somehow made it to the 24th pick, this would be a perfect pairing alongside Devin Bush as the ‘Buck’ linebacker who would take over Vice Williams’ role. This would be very tempting for Pittsburgh.