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Steelers News: The interior offensive line is not a strength in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 05 Utah State at LSU Photo by Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 season is officially over. After finishing the year 8-8, the Steelers, and their vast fan base, has another long offseason awaiting them. Just because the games are done doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how if the Steelers are hoping for a center or guard in the upcoming NFL Draft, they better think twice.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Along with tight end, the upcoming draft class is pretty weak at the interior offensive line.

As Steelers seek interior OL depth, group is considered weak link of NFL Draft class

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tirbune-Review

If draft positional groups were assembled like NFL power rankings, this year’s interior offensive linemen crop would be the equivalent of the Cincinnati Bengals.

“Welcome to the weakest area of the 2020 draft,” analyst Lance Zierlein wrote in his annual listing of 11 positions.

Unlike tackle, which Zierlein – son of former Steelers offensive line coach Larry Zierlein – rated as the second-deepest position, the collective assortment of guards and centers in this draft class is on the opposite side of the spectrum.

Analysts are universal in their belief that this class lacks a high-profile interior lineman in the mold of Quenton Nelson, who went No. 6 overall to the Indianapolis Colts in 2018. Or even a center that could be picked in the top 20, like Garrett Bradbury, who went to the Minnesota Vikings with the No. 18 overall choice last year.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • The interior offensive line might be weak, but the tackle position is a strength in the upcoming class.

Time might be right for Steelers to find replacements at tackle in NFL Draft

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The makeover of the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line, a unit that had been together since 2015, began last winter with the trade of right tackle Marcus Gilbert to the Arizona Cardinals.

It continued last month with left guard Ramon Foster’s retirement.

With age and expiring contracts creeping up on the group, it might be time for the Steelers to address both issues next week in the NFL Draft.

Not since 2012 have the Steelers used their top draft pick to take an offensive lineman, selecting guard David DeCastro in the first round. The last time they used a second-round pick on the line was that same year with the selection of tackle Mike Adams.

Without a first-rounder this year and with skill position areas requiring greater emphasis, the Steelers are unlikely to take a lineman with the No. 49 overall pick.

Still, this draft might be the time for the Steelers to use one of their six picks on a lineman, particularly one who plays on the exterior. Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is 31 and entering the final year of his contract. At right tackle, incumbent Matt Feiler and top backup Zach Banner are set to become unrestricted free agents after the season.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • A closer look at the tight ends in the upcoming NFL Draft.

The Triple Take: TEs

By: Staff

The “The Triple Take” now moves to the tight ends. In our sixth installment of this draft prospect preview by position, the Steelers Radio Network trio of Matt Williamson, Bruce Gradkowski and Mike Prisuta give their takes on the top prospects at the tight end position. If you want to hear the audio version of “The Triple Take” click here.

Matt’s Take ...

Matt Williamson: This is a very weak group of tight ends. That isn’t to say that several of these young men won’t develop into solid pros or even strong starters in time, but there isn’t a first round prospect in the bunch. Plus, history shows us that tight ends often take longer than most positions to reach their peak in the NFL. So, we might have to wait for this group to really make their mark at the NFL level.

#5 - Hunter Bryant, Washington (6-4, 243 lbs.) - Bryant is small for the position and his game is more liking to a big slot receiver than a typical tight end. But you can’t argue with his college receiving production and although he didn’t run great (4.74) at the Combine, he makes big plays on the field. Bryant also comes down with a lot of balls in traffic. With a game patterned after Evan Engram, Bryant isn’t for every scheme and must land in the right situation.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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