At the conclusion of every NFL season, there are 31 teams who come up short of the ultimate goal. For those teams, improving in the offseason in order to push for a Super Bowl victory is of the upmost importance. Whether individual players improve from season to season, or a team brings in new talent, the goal is to improve going in to the next year.
With that in mind, do the Pittsburgh Steelers have an improved roster at this point heading into the 2021 season?
Of course, free agency has not concluded and the 2021 NFL draft is just over a month away, so it’s not like teams don’t have an opportunity to continue to improve for next season. But where do the Steeler stand now?
In looking at the various position groups across the Steelers roster, there is not one which jumps out as having vast improvement for 2021. While some position groups have remained the same, it’s difficult to judge at this time if keeping the same personnel will actually have the group better this season if players are on the rise in their NFL career.
Looking first at the offense, the quarterback position does not seem to be one where the Steelers have improved as they are returning Ben Roethlisberger, but thinking Roethlisberger is an ascending player at the age of 39 would be ill-advised. The Steelers are returning the same running backs minus James Conner, and the same full back. The tight end room has no additions and just the loss of Vance McDonald due to retirement. The wide receivers room is also the same top five, but an argument could be made that all players are on the rise. As for the offensive line, the Steelers currently have lost Maurkice Pouncey, Matt Feiler, Alejandro Villanueva, and Jerald Hawkins as none of them are on the roster at this time, but have added Zach Banner coming off of injury, B.J. Finney, and Joe Haeg. Whether or not the Steelers offensive line has improved this time is anyone’s guess, but the majority of Steelers fans would not jump in to make this argument.
When it comes to the Steelers defense, they have the same defensive line unit minus starting nose tackle Tyson Alualu. The outside linebackers saw the departure of Bud Dupree and Ola Adeniyi with only the addition of Cassius Marsh. The inside linebackers get a boost from the return of Devin Bush from injury, but Vince Williams was a salary cap casualty. The safeties have maintained the same starters with questions still remaining with their depth pieces. Cornerback has seen the largest change as the Steelers have lost Steven Nelson and Mike Hilton and have yet to add any players who were not on the 2020 squad.
So while the Steelers made moves to retain players such as Cameron Sutton, Zach Banner, and JuJu Smith Schuster, is there any position group where the Steelers have currently improved for the 2021 season? It’s very difficult to make an argument that they have.
Luckily, there is still more time in the 2021 offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Chances are the Steelers will look to make moves before attempting to improve their roster in the 2021 NFL draft. Whether or not the Steelers end up with an improved roster come Week 1 of 2021 remains to be seen.
So what do you think? Have the Steelers improved any position group on their 2021 roster at this time? Make sure you leave your thoughts in the comments below.