2020 NFL draft: Steelers should have drafted Willie Gay (Chase Claypool)
The Covid outbreak was in full swing by the time the 2020 NFL draft came around. The league had to get creative with how they did the annual event, and they held everything virtually, which was common for most events that year. It was a class full of big names, perhaps none bigger than Joe Burrow, who went number one overall to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Fans of the Steelers also had to wait a chunk of time as they did not hold a first-round pick. That was the first time they did not have a pick on night one of the draft in a long time. It turned out to be one of the best moves Kevin Colbert had ever made in his tenure as general manager. He traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick earlier that season prior and that changed the entire year for Pittsburgh.
That move caused them to wait until their second-round pick and that is when they took Chase Claypool. He had a terrific rookie season but fizzled after that before being traded out of town. There were some better options available like Willie Gay Jr. to bring onto the club. It makes sense why the black and gold did not make this move.
Gay was not regarded as a consensus first round pick, but he would be an upgrade over any middle linebacker the Steelers have had since he was taken. He would have been a better value than Claypool ever was and has found longevity in his success. Taking Gay would have provided a stable linebacker on defense that needs it desperately.