Steelers will play to the strengths of the draft
On paper, this is something that every team should be doing every season. While the draft is far from an exact science, you typically have deep and shallow positions in any given year. This should heavily impact your draft boards. For most teams, that won’t be the final say as they will also need to address their actual team needs when they are on the board.
The Steelers fell more into the latter category towards the tail end of Colbert’s tenure. It seemed like the team would go into the draft with a name or two circled for the first round no matter what the depth was like around them. The Pickett and Harris choices come to mind as such an example.
Last year, Khan did things the right way. The tackle class was heavy at the top and thinned out quickly. Cornerback was extremely deep, as were tight end and defensive line. He attacked those positions where it made sense. The Steelers really didn’t need a tight end, but they got a great value in Darnell Washington after trading back. He also ensured to land a top tackle before the talent dried up as well as a quality lineman and cornerback on day two.
More importantly, Khan built out the roster to allow this to happen. He built up weaker positions that didn’t end up having a rookie get drafted. This meant that the team didn’t have a gaping hole they needed to fill. They could instead focus on filling their remaining needs while taking advantage of the class as a whole. The board broke perfectly, but the team was built well before the draft started.
Looking ahead to this draft class, quarterback, cornerback, tackle, receiver, and the interior of the line stick out as the deepest groups. The Steelers have needs here, so I would expect the team to be ready to draft from those pools. That doesn’t mean other positions won’t be addressed, but I expect this team to once again pull from the strength of a given draft class.