There’s always so much to talk about when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the inquiries surrounding the black-and-gold are definitely ever-evolving, especially this week with Vince Williams returning, Josh Dobbs coming back too, the Steelers opting out of OTAs and the Draft right around the bend. It seems like the musical selection that best fits this week’s Fact or Fiction could be the early 80s top-ten hit from 1982, “You Can Do Magic” by America.
Here’s a sample of that great single...
I never believed in things that I couldn’t see
I said if I can’t feel it then how can it be
No, no magic could happen to me
And then I saw you
I couldn’t believe it, you took my heart
I couldn’t retrieve it, said to myself
What’s it all about
Now I know there can be no doubt
You can do magic
You can have anything that you desire
Magic, and you know
You’re the one who can put out the fire
You know darn well
When you cast your spell you will get your way
When you hypnotize with your eyes
A heart of stone can turn to clay
You can ponder the significance or wonder whether they are really related here. Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to listen to some last gasp classic rock from a 70s staple. But anyhow, there is surely a lot to wonder about. BTSC tries to answer some of the poignant wonderings ahead of time. Take a gander at some bold statements on this and more as we label them as fact or fiction.
Are we on point? Only time will tell.
Bringing back Vince Williams signifies that the Steelers won’t draft an inside linebacker
The re-signing of Vinny Vidi Vici adds heart, soul, experience and nastiness back to the middle of the defense. It also makes the inside linebacking corps so much deeper with Robert Spillane there and the possibility of an Avery Williamson return as well. Keep in mind though that No. 98 is only back on a one-year deal and that the future still cries for new blood at the position. This move reduces the need slightly for a first-round grab of a stud like Xaven Collins, but it doesn’t negate the notion. The Steelers are going to draft an inside linebacker, but it could be a player like a Chazz Surratt or a Dylan Moses in possibly the third round if they are still available.
However, bringing back Joshua Dobbs makes it seem likely that a quarterback will not be coming in Rounds 1 through 7
With all of the needs in the 2021 Draft at many a position, I believe that the signing of Dobbs will push a selection of a quarterback down the ledger. With three veterans vying for four spots, I can’t see the Steelers spending a draft pick on a quarterback. One of these three players behind Ben Roethlisberger could be traded away at the end of camp, but I highly doubt that they will all be in Pittsburgh with questions remaining regarding the practice squad eligibilities possibly reverting back to pre-Covid. With all of this being said though, I do foresee the Steelers bringing in a young signal caller as an undrafted free agent. Just don’t expect one receiving a call from the 412 during the draft.
If an Alejandro Villanueva return happens, it wouldn’t be until after the draft
Plain and simple, the odds in my mind of a return by Alejandro Villanueva to the Steelers changes every day. They have Zach Banner and Chuks Okorafor, but neither one is a proven commodity at left tackle. A Big Al return could greatly help the Steelers in the twilight of Big Ben’s career and it very well could happen. However, I would think that Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and company would want to wait and see what kind of haul they bring in on draft day and if they score a possible Week One starter. Think about this, if the Steelers draft a possible immediate starter in Creed Humphrey in the first round and grab an offensive tackle in the third or fourth... they may want to bring back No. 78 to have more grit and experience on the line. Should they bring in a stud first rounder that could be inserted in right away, maybe they just continue to look ahead and bypass Big Al. All this to say that the draft is likely to dictate Big Al’s future with the Steelers.
The Steelers can’t fix the running game if they select a running back in the first round
This is one of my favorite misconceptions surrounding the Steelers draft plans. Most definitely, the running game is indeed in desperate need of repair. But everybody seems to feel that the Steelers will waste a talented runner if they select one in the first round if they don’t address the offensive line. Why can’t they draft a runner, center and a tackle in the first four rounds of the draft? The first player that they bring in isn’t the only possible answer to the run game. If the Steelers tab a stud rusher on Day 1, they can still get a restaurant-quality OT or a tackle in the second round. Maybe the third or fourth, they get the other. But stop worrying about the line setting up the run. The Men of Steel won’t continue to be if they don’t address every aspect of the running attack.
Drafting a wide receiver in 2021 equates to a wasted pick no matter the round
In this very column, I mentioned that I don’t see the Steelers adding to the quarterback room because of it being crowded, At the risk of contradiction, they really can’t ignore the wide receiver room despite it being loaded. But the team faces losing JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington next year, so they should always think about replenishing again this year. The main thing to remember here is that the team could afford to do it later in the draft. With all of their needs going into this season, It would be disappointing to see the Steelers go for a wide receiver at the top of the draft. But that doesn’t mean that starting in the fourth round that you continue to ignore the position altogether. There’s great value to be added to a fantastic wide receiver stable there.
Check out the Fact or Fiction podcast to learn even more about these topics, and their status, heading into this week’s game and listen for more on the player below.