Pittsburgh Steelers Draft: 5 Things That Must Happen in the Final Rounds
As the Pittsburgh Steelers move into the second round and beyond Friday, they will still have plenty of needs and wants to address with their remaining nine selections.
Here's a look at what's needed in the coming rounds. This draft is unlike many years past—when the Steelers had the luxury of drafting for whatever they wanted. This year, they have specific areas that must be improved and strengthened.
Offensive Tackle Depth
The Steelers have no depth at offensive tackle. Beyond starters Marcus Gilbert on the left side and Willie Colon on the right side, there is really only Jonathan Scott. For new readers to my articles, I am the world's biggest critic of Jonathan Scott and would sponsor his removal from the roster if it was possible.
Depth at every position is important. At the tackle spots in Pittsburgh, it's even more essential right now. Gilbert has never played the left tackle spot in the NFL as a full-time starter. Colon hasn't been healthy for the last two years.
Getting someone, probably in the next two rounds, will be very important.
Even with the return of Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch, the Steelers still need to draft a young, developmental quarterback. Leftwich and Batch both have injury histories that aren't favorable and neither is a spring chicken in the NFL.
Case Keenum of Houston is a possibility for the late rounds, as is Russell Wilson. Either would be an upgrade. I think that, regardless of the signing of the team's two current backups, one will find his way out the door if a rookie shows some promise in camp.
The Steelers don't have a pressing need at this spot...or do they?
Mike Wallace isn't a lock for this year and he's certainly not a lock for next year. Antonio Brown is going to be in need of a new contract soon enough, too. Emmanuel Sanders hasn't shown he can stay healthy, although he's quite productive. Jerricho Cotchery is solid.
But there's a lot of uncertainty here. The Steelers could use another young project receiver to groom just in case.
There's no harm in being prepared.
Potential Offensive Guards
The team re-signed both Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster to new deals in the offseason and both should open as the starters. That doesn't mean the team can ignore the position. The depth is rather weak and the injuries were bad here last year.
The team doesn't seem to have a ton of trust in either of those guys, either. If they can get someone in Round 2 or 3, they could end up starting within a year or two. The Steelers did very well with Marcus Gilbert last season. A repeat performance would be grand.
Shaun Suisham has performed admirably for the most part, but I feel like his lack of a big leg and his questionable history of accuracy will eventually cause the Steelers problems.
As a team that was 21st in the NFL in scoring last year, the Steelers rely plenty on their kicker.
In close games, you want a guy who can make it from anywhere and who has the strength to boot the long kicks. A guy like Carson Wiggs or Blair Walsh would be fine additions to the team and would, at the worst, give Suisham competition.