Potential first round Steelers draft targets post free agency

Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Georgia defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt (95) News Joshua L Jones /

After making some key moves in Free Agency, the draft targets for the Steelers might have changed a bit.

The Steelers made some big splashes early in free agency, addressing several of their needs while adding some young talent to their roster. The team has brought in: Mitch Trubisky, James Daniels, Levi Wallace, and Mason Cole, while also bringing back Chukwuma Okorafor, Montravius Adams, and Ahkello Witherspoon.

With several new faces on the roster, and many of the wholes addressed, the Steelers have the benefit of being able to go the best player available in the draft this year. This is key, because the team won’t be forced to reach, and can upgrade on many positions, but could also be comfortable going into this season with several of these players as starters if they don’t choose to upgrade via the draft.

Steelers could target DL Devonte Wyatt

While the Steelers addressed several of the holes on their roster, one of the biggest remaining question marks on the roster is what will happen with Stephon Tuitt. It’s unknown if Tuitt will return this season, or if he will retire, but if he doesn’t return the team will have a huge hole on the defensive line. Pittsburgh had one of the worst run defenses in the NFL last season, and the team will need a replacement if Tuitt doesn’t return.

Enter Devonte Wyatt, a 6’3″, 304 lb. defensive lineman from Georgia. Wyatt was a key member of a dominant Bulldog defense this season, which lead the way for the National Champions. Wyatt is a big-bodied defensive tackle, who like Cameron Heyward and Tuitt, can play all three downs at a high level. If Tuitt were to not return this season, Wyatt would be a perfect replacement, as he has played in big games in college, and fits the mold of what the Steelers need from a defensive lineman.

Wyatt’s teammate Jordan Davis has been a fast-rising prospect after showing off how athletic he is for his size at the NFL Scouting Combine, however, it is Wyatt who is the better fit. Davis has the makings of a tremendous nose tackle at the next level, however, due to his size and weight he projects as more of a two-down player, due to the fact that he can get exposed during no-huddle situations. While he may be dominant in that role as a run stuffer, the team would be better off selecting someone who can play all three downs with their first selection.

While the defensive line might not be the biggest area of need for Pittsburgh, it will become a much bigger need if Tuitt doesn’t return. In addition, the team has built up most of their positions of need during the free agency period so that they can truly just pick the best player available. This draft class is very strong in the trenches, so selecting a dominant presence like Wyatt who is strong against the run, and as a pass rusher could be the best course of action for Pittsburgh.