Should the Steelers go offensive line or wide receiver in Round 1?

With needs at center, offensive tackle, and wide receiver, the Steelers have a decision to make in Round 1, do they go in the trenches or build up their skill position group?
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With needs at center, offensive tackle, and wide receiver, the Steelers have a decision to make in Round 1, do they build through the trenches or add some speed and talent to their wide receiver core?

This decision has many in the fanbase split on what the team should do. However, in reality, the decision should be simple for a multitude of reasons.

The Steelers should beef up the Offensive Line in Round 1

Whether they like the talent more at center or offensive tackle, the Steelers should aim to use their first selection on an offensive lineman. The offensive line has been the team's biggest weakness for several years now, and although the additions of Broderick Jones and Issac Seumalo helped the unit improve last year, the team still has two holes on the unit.

The Steelers need to add both positions in the draft and need at least one of their additions to step in as a starter this year, and the reality is that neither position is very deep in this year's draft class. While they probably have their eyes on some players in later rounds at each position, it's unlikely that taking a dice roll on both positions will work out.

At center, Graham Barton and Zach Frazier should be the names that the team has its eyes on in round 1. Jackson Powers-Johnson is another name to watch out for, but he feels like a reach in round 1, and while the team could hope he falls to them in round 2, that is probably wishful thinking. Thus, the team should be thinking about attacking the position in round 1, by getting a good player who is also ranked around there and is not a reach.

If they lean toward offensive tackle, the team could be looking at JC Latham, Amarius Mims, Tyler Guyton, and Taliese Fuaga. Fuaga will likely be gone, and Latham may be as well, but neither of those is a guarantee. There is a litany of tackles ranked in the first round this year, and everyone ranks them differently. The Steelers will likely have two tackles on the board when they are up, but who they are is a mystery. While the first round is deep this year at the position, the pool dries up after round one at offensive tackle as well.

When determining if they go center or tackle the Steelers have several things to consider. Obviously, they must consider who they like most/ have ranked highest on their draft board. But also they must think of the draft scenarios down the line at the position they don't pick. If they choose "X" player at center in round 1 what tackles could they look at in rounds 2,3, and 4, and vice versa?

The Steelers can still get good value at wide receiver after the first round

Not only are both center and offensive tackle thin this year, but wide receiver is also very deep in this year's class. While adding a player like Adonai Mitchell or Brian Thomas Jr. is the sexy pick in round 1, the totality of a draft class is important. While the Steelers may view one of them as an A selection, they may only get a C at center or offensive tackle if they wait. Meanwhile, they can take a center or tackle in round 1 and still get a B-graded wide receiver in round 2 or 3, which is something they must consider.

In round 2 the Steelers could see some of the following names on the board: Roman Wilson, Keon Coleman, Troy Franklin, Ricky Pearsall, Malachi Corley, Javon Baker, and Ja'Lynn Polk. Not all of these players will be available to them at their pick in round 2, but, with so much talent at the wide receiver position in this year's class, they will at least have a couple of these players available come round 2.

Jalen McMillan and Brendan Rice are two more productive receivers who could be draft steals, be taken in round 3, and be productive players at the NFL level.

Additionally, the Steelers have made their money drafting mid to late-round wide receivers in the last 15-20 years. The team has found Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Juju Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, Martavis Bryant, Emmanuel Sanders, George Pickens, and more all after day 1 of the NFL Draft. If anyone can find a hidden gem in the draft at wide receiver it's the Steelers.

The team drafts well at wide receiver and the draft is extremely deep at the position this year, so they'd be well served to wait on the position in the draft. Meanwhile, they've had less success in drafting offensive linemen, so drafting the position early when there's less risk of getting it wrong would be a wise decision for the Steelers.

Not to mention Arthur Smith is a ground-and-pound offensive coordinator, so building through the trenches will help them achieve the identity they're looking for on the offensive side of the ball.