There is no question where the Pittsburgh Steelers’ holes reside on their football team.
With that said, will the team have a similar approach to the 2018 NFL Draft that they did in 2016, when they selected defenders in the first three rounds? The latest 4-round mock draft by DraftWire suggests the Steelers will do just that.
What is difficult to pinpoint at this juncture is just which position the team targets first. Inside linebacker is a huge hole on the team, but so is safety and possibly nose tackle and outside linebacker.
Either way, take a look at who they have slotted to go to Pittsburgh in Rounds 1-3, considering the team doesn’t have a 4th round pick in this year’s draft.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers | Marcus Allen | S | Penn State
Every year, a couple of prospects stand out and make me say, “That’s a Steeler.” Allen is one of this year’s, with his fantastic blend of athletic ability, intelligence, instincts and intangibles. His playing style on the field, on the sideline and in the locker room would be a perfect fit here.
The Steelers going after a safety in the first round isn’t a shock, at least not to me. You never want to reach on a prospect based on position (i.e. - Jarvis Jones), and if you have a sure-thing at a position of need like safety, you pull the trigger. I am anxious to see how Allen tests out at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, along with Penn State’s Pro Day.
60. Pittsburgh Steelers | Mike Hughes | CB | UCF
Having the Steelers go safety and cornerback in the first two rounds is certainly a head-scratcher to me. Nothing against Hughes as a prospect, but the only way I see the organization investing a second round pick on a cornerback is if they realize Joe Haden isn’t going to take a pay cut and have to release him. Otherwise, there isn’t much need for a cornerback early in the draft with Haden, Artie Burns, Mike Hilton, Cameron Sutton, Brian Allen, Coty Sensabaugh and William Gay all still under contract.
92. Pittsburgh Steelers | Uchenna Nwosu | EDGE/LB | USC
I don’t mind the pick of Nwosu, but feel taking him in the third round might be a bit of a stretch. Although the Steelers don’t have their outside linebackers rush as much as they once did, Nwosu is a player who could help their depth, but certainly is someone who wouldn’t be expected to see the field a ton, unlike T.J. Watt last year, as a rookie.
While some will be up-in-arms over the selections, the only viable reason the team wouldn’t take an inside linebacker, and take a EDGE rusher, could be the author deciding to address some of those needs in free agency. This is the issue with mock drafts, it is purely speculation, and often times the author of said mock drafts doesn’t truly put the team’s overall situation, and needs, into play when putting them together.
Nonetheless, what do you think about the picks? Do you like Allen at safety in Round 1, or would you rather see them take a different approach? What about the offensive side of the football? When will those needs, albeit depth needs, be addressed?
Let us know in the comment section below!