Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Where the Steelers will need to make their move is the draft. Though they have already lost several players from last year’s draft, they did have five major contributors from that class, including two starters—DeCastro and Adams.
So, what do the Steelers need from this year’s draft? There are several positions that they must address.
On offense, the Steelers need to find a big, physical receiver with speed who could potentially develop into a top option.
There are a number of good prospects available in the first three rounds who would fill this need.
The benefit of having a bigger receiver is a wide catching radius as well as a receiver who can beat press coverage. He doesn't have to be the fastest guy in the league to be a deep threat as long as he knows how to use his body and size to locate and bring in the ball.
Some of the tall receivers include Cordarrelle Patterson, Keenan Allen, DeAndre Hopkins, Terrance Williams, Justin Hunter and Da’Rick Rogers.
Besides adding a top receiver, the Steelers need to find a feature running back.
Quality running backs can be found all throughout the draft, and the Steelers will likely select one between the second and fourth rounds.
Unlike last season, they need to find a player better than a Chris Rainey, who was a role player. The Steelers need a running back who can carry the ball 20-25 times per game. A player such as Eddie Lacy or Stepfan Taylor would fill that need nicely.
Of course, the Steelers should always select at least one lineman in the draft, especially considering the injury issues they’ve had at the position. If they get lucky, they’ll find another late-round gem like Kelvin Beachum last season.
There is also a need to get younger on the defensive side of the ball, especially at linebacker and safety.
At some point, the Steelers should try to find a safety of the future, with Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark both in their 30s.
The top safeties in the draft are Kenny Vaccaro and Eric Reid, but the Steelers could also trade down or wait until the second round to select Matt Elam. Other quality options include Bacarri Rambo and Jonathan Cyprien.
Linebacker may be the more important position, as the Steelers don’t know what they have with inside linebacker Sean Spence coming off of an injury or Jason Worilds as an outside linebacker.
It may be tempting to select an inside linebacker such as Alec Ogletree or Kevin Minter in the first round, but there will be quality options later, including Arthur Brown, Kevin Reddick, Sean Porter, Nico Johnson, Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti.
In today’s NFL, you can never have enough good pass-rushers, which will make that position very tempting in the first round for the Steelers, even if they won’t start for a year or two.
The outside linebackers are a bit tougher to judge prior to the combine, considering that their workout numbers will be important in projecting who can transition to an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
The wild-card position for the Steelers will be nose tackle.
Steve McLendon appears to be a great fit for the position, but a dominant nose tackle is essential for the Steelers defense to succeed, and it is important that the Steelers have quality depth at the position.