4 reasons Steelers fans should not want Brian Branch at pick 17 in the NFL Draft
By Tommy Jaggi
3. More important positions Steelers should target
The NFL Draft should always be about taking the best players at the most important position. On the other hand, free agency should be about filling holes. There's too much at stake when it comes to draft capital and finding the right players -- something this team has failed to do often in the past.
Because the Steelers have had 'holes' in the past, they have ignored more important positions in order to fill their need. The examples are endless, but let's just look at a few of the more recent years.
In 2018, Pittsburgh spent the 28th overall pick on Virginia Tech safety, Terrell Edmunds, because they had a need at the safety position. The Steelers got a few good years out of him, but he never played up to his first-round status (as evidenced by his 5 interceptions in 75 starts). A year later, the Steelers overvalued the off-ball linebacker position by trading a combined first, second, and future third-round pick to move up for Devin Bush.
While Branch is probably a better prospect coming out than either of these players, he still plays a non-premium position. We just saw good safeties like C.J. Gardner-Johnson go for very reasonable prices in free agency, and there are plenty of good options still out there. Ignoring a premier position like offensive tackle or cornerback at pick 17 seems like an unwise choice.