Time to blow it up: a foolproof plan to rebuild the Steelers in 2024

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin / Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
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Steelers attack plan for the remainder of the offseason

With my carryover roster now set, there are still a lot of needs that I want to address. Some needs will have to be ignored though, as there are simply too many holes and not enough resources to fill them in one offseason. I have three tiers of needs for this team. Tier one needs starting help now, tier two can get by but will need help at some point soon, and tier three needs depth.

My tier-one targets are quarterback, center, defensive line, cornerback, slot cornerback, and strong safety. Yes, I am out on Pickett as a starting quarterback. He hasn’t shown a lot of positives so far in his career. Add in the fact that Mason Rudolph came in late in the season and played better than he did and it is hard to want him as the face of this team moving forward.

Unfortunately, given the fact that the Steelers had yet another average season, they won’t be in line to draft a quarterback. While this upcoming class is deep, most of the top prospects will be gone before the teens of the draft pick up. A monumental trade-up could happen, but given the needs of this team, that could hinder them.

A free agent also isn’t great, as they will eat up a ton of cap space and have a track record of not moving the needle as much as you may think. Great quarterback talent doesn’t become available in free agency, so instead you are overpaying for a mediocre option. Unless something surprising happens, I’m rolling into the season with Pickett and Rudolph at the helm.

Center is now a huge hole with the release of Cole. Herbig shouldn’t be counted on to start and Spencer Anderson seems more geared for tackle work than center snaps. A top free agent or early draft investment makes sense here. The same goes for the defensive line, as the team needs another starting body there to replace Ogunjobi.

Cornerback is a question mark. Joey Porter looks the part, but there is no one else proven in the room. Ideally, Darius Rush and Cory Trice can step into one of the other starting roles, but banking on them is a risk. This team also hasn’t had a great slot defender since Mike Hilton. Finally, a more traditional, every-down safety is now needed after gutting the room.

The tier two needs are receiver, tackle, linebacker, and punter. If Pickens or Johnson were to be dealt receiver obviously goes up. Assuming that isn’t the case though, finding some depth there and a new slot option should still be a goal during the offseason.

Some would argue that tackle is a higher need, but with Dan Moore still under contract, he could feasibly start for another season. Tackle is a pricy free-agent option, so if I do nab a bookend for the line, it will be in the draft. Linebacker was fine before injuries, but the position still lacks a star and Elandon Roberts is getting older. Pressley Harvin has been too hot and cold as a punter, but I also don’t want to invest significant resources into the position.

Tier three is, essentially, everything else. I’d like to find a better running back to give this team three options. If Golden walks then another edge rusher would be a welcome sight. Another backup safety would also help even out this roster.