For many fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team will pick from one of two positions with the 30th pick in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Outside Linebacker / EDGE rusher
But what if it wasn’t so cut and dry? What if the prospects which intrigue the Steelers the most aren’t available?
Well, if you do some digging, you realize the Steelers truly are keeping the door open for a number of positions to possibly be the top pick in the draft, regardless of position.
For instance, take a look at NFL.com’s panel of mock drafts, and you see just who they have slated to go to the Steelers.
- Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
- Jabrill Peppers, LB/S, Michigan
- David Njoku, TE, Miami
- Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Four different analysts, and four completely different positions. Now, this isn’t to say these people are the be-all-end-all when it comes to NFL Draft preparation and analysis, but they do a lot more studying than the average Joe who reads websites to get their daily dose of draft talk.
What I’m trying to say is the Steelers have several team needs, and they are going to try and find players who can come in and play now, rather than later, in the early rounds of the draft. In other words, if there aren’t any pass rushers left in Round 1 who they warrant as worthy of a first round grade, then why reach when there could be a tight end who could help transform an already dynamic offense?
The Steelers draft philosophy has always been Best Player Available, but it has always felt as if it were the Best Player Available at specific positions. Maybe, just maybe, this is the year the team actually attacks the draft looking at just the best player who is left on their big board. If it is a wide receiver, then they take a wide receiver at pick No. 30. If it is a versatile threat like Peppers, then they take him, despite of what most see as their main areas of need.
Only time will tell, but for the first time in a long time it actually seems wide open in regards to what position the Steelers could target in the draft. Heck, even a quarterback wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.
Seems strange to look at things this way, but it could be just what the doctor ordered for a team looking to take the final step and get back to the Super Bowl.