Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Change is ahead for the Steelers' offensive line, which means they'll again need to bolster their depth.
Though the Steelers used their first two picks in last year's draft to bolster their offensive line, taking guard David DeCastro in the first round and tackle Mike Adams in the second, their issues with the line have not yet been solved.
Further muddying the waters is the hiring of Jack Bicknell, Jr., to be the team's new offensive line coach, which likely means a shift from a power-running man blocking scheme to zone blocking, and the fact that tackle Max Starks and guard Ramon Foster are unrestricted free agents could result in the two not being re-signed considering the team's salary cap situation.
Additionally, Willie Colon, who moved from tackle to left guard in 2012, may also be released in order to free up cap room.
Whether or not the Steelers change their offensive line from man to zone, it's clear that they desire to get lighter and faster at both guard and tackle. Though Adams will probably start at right tackle and Marcus Gilbert on the left, with DeCastro and 2012 seventh-round pick Kelvin Beachum rounding out the guard positions and, of course, Maurkice Pouncey as their center, this upheaval on the line will require the Steelers to bolster their depth.
At the Scouting Combine, the Steelers will likely be looking at guards and tackles that run the spectrum of early-round picks to day three prospects. Names to keep an eye on include Syracuse tackle Justin Pugh, who would be a second-round target for the Steelers, and guard David Quessenberry from San Jose State, whom the Steelers could get in the third or fourth rounds.
Pugh has good all-around skills in both pass protection and run blocking. He has good size and mobility and can pick up the blitz well. Quessenberry has experience at guard, center and tackle, providing the Steelers with all-around offensive line depth, and his Senior Bowl practices have him rising up draft boards.
What the Steelers will need to see from any potential early-to-mid-round offensive linemen in the combine is mobility. Any guard or tackle that rates well in speed while not losing a step in terms of aggressiveness will be firmly in their draft sights.