clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Living on the EDGE, or behind center? What position should the Steelers draft first in 2017?

New, comments

The Steelers have a draft dilemma in the first round. Will it be a QB or a pass rusher? Help BTSC decide.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Even during the 2016 season, it was fairly evident that the Pittsburgh Steelers were planning on correcting their pass rushing woes in the first round of the 2017 draft. The partial-season loss of Bud Dupree, the advancing age of the legendary James Harrison and the ineffectiveness of Jarvis Jones (now in Arizona) made the thought of any position other than an OLB inconceivable. But plans definitely may have changed in the city of steel.

Yes, the Steelers have a big decision to make in a few weeks regarding their initial selection. Do they address their glaring need for pass rushing help or do they actually draft their quarterback of the future? I'm not certain which avenue I want them to go down.

The previous belief in Pittsburgh was that Ben Roethlisberger might have a solid three-to-four seasons left in him to have his hands nestled between Maurkice Pouncey’s cheeks. But even though he has officially announced his return on Friday, his refusal on January 24th to openly commit to returning for a 14th season was an eye-opening reminder that Ben Roethlisberger's playing-window is closing soon. But that also means that the Steelers championship window with No. 7 is also shutting as well. So the search for his successor has hence been hastened.

Here’s the dilemma, Ben Roethlisberger’s chances of a championship diminishes without another pass rusher that can contribute in a productive manner this coming season. In the same manner, rolling the dice and not having a field general of high pedigree to do an apprenticeship under Ben could set the team back years.

The truth is that they need both. The good news is that this draft has a surplus of talented prospects who can get to the quarterback. However, the team picks deep in each round. If the Steelers pick a QB at 30, the talent at pick 62 could be hit or miss. And missing could be devastating. But the odds of getting a future starting QB at that pick in the second are slimmer. That's the cause for my confusion.

The most popular names that have been bandied about for Pittsburgh are Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech or Notre Dame's DeShone Kiser. To pick a QB in the first round, I want them to be head-over-heels-in-love with the guy. The franchise can't pick a dude that high just because he plays the position. If that’s the case, wait for a guy like Brad Kaaya in maybe the third. There’s less risk. Worst case scenario is that he's not better than Landry Jones and you invested a third instead of a first.

It’s tough decision, but I'm sure the organization is doing their due diligence. What do you think? Should the Steelers draft a pass rusher or a pass thrower? One or the other seems the way to go. Unless Jabril Peppers is still around. Then disregard every last piece of text and draft possibly the next Troy Polamalu.

Ugh! April 27th in Philly can't come soon enough. That’s the one thing I'm sure of.