3 pressing needs for Steelers in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft
By Shayne Kubas
Steelers biggest need: OL
Anyone who has spent significant time watching this team this season knows how much the offensive line has held back the offense. Ben Roethlisberger’s lack of mobility hasn’t done the line any favors, but overall they have rarely given him time to push the football down the field. The run blocking is where the line really struggles, however. Rookie running back Najee Harris has struggled to find running lanes all year behind fellow rookies Dan Moore and Kendrick Greene.
Greene especially has had a difficult time adjusting to the NFL game, and he may need a position switch from center to guard to improve his chances at developing. Moore has been a mostly pleasant surprise after being forced into action season, but he would be better suited as a swing tackle. Veteran addition Trai Turner has continued his decline from his days in Carolina, and Chukwuma Okorafor has been their most reliable tackle. Kevin Dotson has been disappointing due to inconsistent play and injuries, and the depth players have done nothing to differentiate themselves as potential starters.
Realistically, this team needs fresh blood across the entire line. The most pressing need is the interior though, especially finding a true center. I don’t want to give up on Greene entirely after just one season, but his future is not at center.
The top center available in the upcoming draft is Iowa product Tyler Linderbaum, who has been praised for his athleticism and solid power to go with it. At guard, players like Texas A&M’s Kenyon Green, NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu, and Boston College’s Zion Johnson would be good options to replace Trai Turner and have position flexibility as well. Tackle is far from settled as well, but I don’t think spending an early pick would be wise.
I expect the Steelers to fill at least one of their needs along the line in free agency, but don’t be surprised if two or more players are added to the trenches in the draft.