Steelers shouldn't be targeting another interior lineman in the NFL Draft

Steelers, Steve Avila
Steelers, Steve Avila / Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Steelers aggressively signing interior offensive linemen over the past two seasons, the team still seems keen on the interior linemen in this upcoming draft class. They have sent numerous scouts to the Pro Days of some of the more notable interior linemen. On top of this, they have continued to meet and invite interior players with their pre-draft visits.

This comes as a bit of a shock, as the interior of this line is, on paper, the strength of this line. Isaac Seumalo was added on a big deal in the offseason to take one of the guard spots. He joins James Daniels, who was the big fish last season and was the best lineman for this offense in 2022.

The “weak” spot along the interior is Mason Cole. This is more due to the strength of the guards as opposed to Cole as a player. He isn’t flashy by any means, but he was a consistent force and seemingly earned the right to start again next season.

Why are the Steelers targeting interior linemen?

Yet the Steelers have been hot on the trail of interior linemen. From sending Pat Meyer to four pro days with top interior prospects to bringing in multiple guards/centers for pre-draft visits, this team doesn’t appear to be done adding to the interior of the line.

On the surface, I am fine with adding a center-capable player in this draft. While I do believe Cole is fine as a starter, this team has lacked an elite center and it has shown in recent seasons. Grabbing someone on day two this offseason was fine with me even if they didn’t start until next season.

Andy Weidl did this last season with the selection of Cam Jurgens in the second round. They didn’t have an immediate need at center or guard, but they added a top prospect to essentially sit for the season. While I’m guessing they view him as a long-term center, he is likely set to begin his career as a guard.

Adding another interior lineman is a bit rich right now though. The team has three established starters and paid up for Nate Herbig to seemingly be the swing interior lineman. Spending a second or third-round pick on an interior lineman is a hard sell with this unit suddenly being so deep.

The major difference between the Eagles and Steelers is that the Eagles had a mostly complete roster before the draft last season. The Steelers roster is a mess right now. Even at the positions where they added free agents, they still need to get some premiere drafted talent there.

Off the top of my head, safety, cornerback, slot defender, linebacker, edge, defensive line, tackle and receiver all are higher needs than an interior lineman. I love the idea of keeping that positional group deep, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of having other positions’ cupboards bare right now.

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Had the team been less aggressive along the interior in free agency, this would be another story. With so many needs on this roster though, the team should be focusing on other positions with their top picks. Perhaps a trade back nets an additional early pick that could be used as a luxury pick, but it is hard to justify another top investment along the interior given the state of this roster.