In 1974, the Steelers produced the greatest draft class ever.
Four decades later, Pittsburgh's draft approach has come into question.
SI.com's Andy Benoit made the Steelers draft approach the first topic in the website's weekly online column, The Monday Morning Quarterback.
Beniot starts off the piece by lauding the Steelers draft philosophy and how it was helped bring home six Vince Lombardi Trophies. That philosophy has been predicated on drafting players that will fill holes "two or three years in advance" while learning from their veteran peers in the early stages of their careers. Perfect examples of this philosophy include Hines Ward, Joey Porter, Lawrence Timmons and Antonio Brown, among others. Each one played limited roles early in their careers while learning the ropes from older veterans before becoming stars in their own rights.
But, after consecutive 8-8 seasons, Benoit stated that perhaps a change or alter in philosophy might be needed.
Benoit feels that it might serve the Steelers better to draft for immediate needs, as opposed to longer terms needs. He did say that the team has done that on a few occasions lately, giving Le'Veon Bell and David DeCastro as examples. But he says that type of mindset when drafting needs to be more frequent.
Wide receiver and defensive end, inside linebacker and cornerback are among Pittsburgh's main position concerns entering the draft, and that the Steelers draft choices should reflect those needs.It has been speculated that the Steelers will use their first pick on a receiver.
Benoit making comments about the Steelers and their draft philosophy is interesting. It's interesting that a team that has produced so many Pro Bowlers that have helped produce Super Bowl titles over the past decade would draw skepticism from the media. At the same time, the team shouldn't be absolved of criticism after twice failing to meet the high expectations associated with this franchise.