3 potential surprises that would alter the Steelers draft strategy
By Scott Long
While the draft is fast approaching, there are a few question marks around the Steelers that could alter their draft strategy.
The Steelers appear likely to select a quarterback in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft due to their reported interest, and meetings with prospects such as Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder, Matt Corral, Kenny Pickett, and Sam Howell.
Additionally, the wide receiver position that it appears to be a position that the Steelers could be in the market for, and the team could also spend selections on safety, defensive lineman, cornerback, and linebacker, among others.
However, with the draft still a few days away, there are some changes that could occur that could alter what positions the Steelers are interested in. The following three surprises would have a huge impact on the way the Steelers drafted if they were to take place before the draft.
1. A Stephon Tuitt announcement
Unlike the other surprises on this list, this surprise could go two different ways. There has been very little word on the progress of Stephon Tuitt and whether or not he will return to the Steelers. In fact, there hasn’t been much news on him at all since the beginning of last season. Tuitt spent last season nursing a knee injury, while also dealing with a personal situation.
The Steelers have given Tuitt space as they understand he is going through a difficult time, and Kevin Colbert spoke briefly on the topic in February.
Obviously, Tuitt should be given all the time he needs when it comes to his personal situation. However, if he were to make an announcement about his future in the days leading up to the draft that would shift the Steelers’ views on the need of drafting an interior defensive lineman.
If Tuitt were to announce his return, the team likely would not spend a selection on a defensive lineman until late, if at all. With Tuitt back, the Steelers would have one of the strongest defensive line groups in the league, as he would rejoin Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu, Chris Wormley, Montravius Adams, and Isaiah Loudermilk.
However, if Tuitt were to announce plans to retire, then suddenly interior defensive line becomes a major need for the Steelers. The team would still have depth, but the team would lack a true third starter along the defensive line, as their depth players would be forced into starting, and when the team was forced to start that depth last year for an extended period, it didn’t work out well for the team.
If he were to announce his retirement before the draft then look for the team to target players such as Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt, Travis Jones, Logan Hall, and DeMarvin Leal.