The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team without a lot needs heading into the 2017 season. They have their issues in regards to depth, of course free agency can shape how they approach the draft too, but ultimately they are pretty set at most positions.
If you were to rank the Steelers team needs, it would likely look something like this (in no particular order):
There might be a few other positions of need you could place on that list, but for the most part, the above positions are to target depth.
In the latest SB Nation Mock Draft, they attempt to go through the entire selection process, drafting only with positions of need in mind. For the Steelers, they have their key needs as LB, OL, and QB.
Certainly there is room to disagree with those rankings, but you can’t ignore the fact the team will be looking for an OLB early. Jarvis Jones is set to be a free agent next season and James Harrison’s future is anything but clear after another season at the age of 38. That leaves the Steelers with Bud Dupree, Arthur Moats and Anthony Chickillo as the players who will be guaranteed to return in 2017.
Yeah, the need for another edge rusher is high, and that is exactly the direction Dan Kadar of SB Nation sees the Steelers headed in Round 1. Take a look at the pick, and the reasoning behind it.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers - Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
Key needs: LB, OL, QB
“The Steelers will have to figure out what to do at linebacker where Lawrence Timmons and Jarvis Jones are free agents, and James Harrison may be in the final year of his career. The Steelers have done a nice job of developing their offensive line, but quality depth is needed. Pittsburgh can improve upon Landry Jones as a backup developmental quarterback.”
Harris would be a player who could step in and play, like Dupree did after being drafted in 2015, but the Steelers can ill afford to swing-and-miss on a prospect, like they did with Jarvis Jones.
Mock Drafts are pure guessing games, but they also bring up some great discussion and debate among fans regarding team needs, and players selected. Let the debate begin!