The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season has been over for weeks now, and that means the offseason has officially in full swing. When the offseason begins, fans start to look ahead, and rightfully so. They look at NFL Free Agency, both players who could be coming and going, as well as the NFL Draft.
Regardless of free agency or the draft, the discussion always stems from team needs for the black and gold. Everyone has their own thoughts on what is best for the team moving forward, and everyone is entitled to their opinion.
This is just my opinion.
So, below are my Top 5 team positional needs for the Steelers as they prepare for the new league year, free agency and the NFL Draft. This is just the first of many updated team needs, as things can certainly change between now and the new league year. For instance, as you will see, the retirement of Maurkice Pouncey has completely changed my team needs.
Before going any further, here were my Team Needs 1.0:
Okay, let’s get down to business...
Yes, if you look at the above list, I have taken a complete about-face to my rankings. Quarterback was at the top in my 1.0 rankings, and now it has fallen off completely. The retirement of Pouncey is the biggest reason. The Steelers currently don’t have a center on their roster. They are looking at trying to keep J.C. Hassenauer, bring in a free agent center and also draft one in the upcoming draft. The retirement of Pouncey certainly rocked the boat, as if that wasn’t obvious.
2. Offensive Tackle
The Steelers could be just fine at offensive tackle, if they re-sign Zach Banner on the cheap and have he and Chuks Okorafor as your book end tackles. But who else is there? Jerald Hawkins is a free agent, and there wasn’t anyone worth writing home about waiting for their shot on the practice squad. This draft class is deep at tackle, and the Steelers should consider targeting one early and often.
I have to be specific here when it comes to this team need. Some would suggest Devin Bush being back, Vince Williams returning, Robert Spillane likely to return and even Ulysees Gilbert III would round out a nice depth chart. I’m sorry, but the Marcus Allen experiment and UG3 haven’t impressed. The Steelers could certainly benefit from getting an athletic, sideline-to-sideline player who could not only play inside, but also on the edge if needed. A genuine hybrid in every sense of the word.
4. EDGE Pass Rusher
Speaking of pass rushing, the Steelers sure do need another player who can get after the quarterback. With Bud Dupree likely gone, the Steelers are looking at T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith and Ola Adeniyi as their main pass rushers. While I used to be high on Adeniyi’s capabilities, he certainly didn’t impress in 2020. The Steelers could add a player like Highsmith to their roster, someone who can spell Watt and Highsmith to ensure their pass rush never misses a beat.
5. Running Back
Many fans put the running back position near the top of their team needs list, but for me I believe it is more about the players blocking than the person toting the rock. It has been proven you can find quality running backs in the mid-to-late rounds of the NFL Draft, and if the Steelers are without James Conner in 2021 they still have a pretty packed running back room. Adding talent is never a bad thing, and it is why I have running back on my Top 5 list, but not near the top.
Other Positions of Need:
For an more in-depth analysis of these team needs, check out my Let’s Ride podcast where Dave Schofield and I break our team needs down every which way. Listen below:
So, what are your Top 5 team needs? Let us know what you think in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 offseason.