clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Depth will be an issue for the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers

One injury could put the Steelers in dire straits in 2021.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
Alex Highsmith will make the jump this year but no one is currently backing him up
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to have to make difficult decisions this offseason. As the days pass, the list of team needs seems to grow. While we may be through the bulk of the roster termination, the team will now be tasked at replenishing its roster. Whether or not the organization is willing to do so through free agency remains to be seen, but no matter how they put together a starting lineup there will be a glaring issue.

Aside from the receiver group, the Pittsburgh Steelers lack depth across the board.

Just name the position and the Steelers either have a quality starter and no depth, or they don’t have a capable starter or backups. Even if the Steelers scoop up some street free agents for pennies on the dollar and nail the 2021 NFL Draft, this issue won't go away this year. There’s just far too many positions in need of help to address them all.

Take outside linebacker for example. The position boasts one of the best defenders In the game today in T.J. Watt and a up-and-coming stud in Alex Highsmith. All is good right? Wrong. Those are the only two players on the roster at the position who could be deemed as legitimate pass rushers. The team signed Cassius Marsh to a one-year deal, but I’m not sure you could consider him quality depth. Suddenly, a position which is far from a weakness is one injury away from watching a player like Marsh, or a rookie, starting, or playing someone out of position.

As we sit here today, I would venture to guess the 2021 Steelers will have to lean on undrafted free agents to fill out their roster, which is fine to a degree; however, if the organization runs into the same injury trouble they faced in 2020 then we could be in for a long season.

The only secondary option the Steelers could pursue is by continuing to recoup salary cap via extensions and restructures, and sign a number of bargain bin free agents including many of their own remaining unrestricted free agents as possible. Players like Avery Williamson, Jordan Dangerfield, James Conner, Jayrone Elliott, etc.

But what do you think? Are you concerned about the depth of this team? Let us know why or why not down in the comments below.