No NFL team is without flaws. Be it glaring holes at a starting spot, a lack of depth or a future need, General Managers are always on the look out for new talent to upgrade their team. The Pittsburgh Steelers are far from finished constructing their 2021 roster from signings, trades and cuts this, team will look a whole lot different come September. But at the moment of writing, here are the 10 biggest areas of need the Steelers should address be it now or in the future.
10. Nose Tackle
This has more to do with Alualu being 34 years of age than it does his 2 year contract. He had a career year in 2020, but it is safe to assume the former first round pick signed what will be his last NFL contract back in March. The Steelers have a couple offseasons to fill the spot, but it is still worth mentioning.
David DeCastro was still an animal in 2020 despite battling injuries throughout the entire campaign. However, we can't look past his expiring contract and his senior statesmen status on the offensive line and think everything is ok. Easiest way to fix the spot is by simply re-signing DeCastro, but I imagine the Steelers want to see is he can stay healthy in 2021.
*Disclaimer Malik Hooker has yet to sign at the time of writing.
The Steelers have a depth problem at their safety position. Behind Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds are a bunch of guys with no NFL experience, that’s not okay. A signing will quickly fix the situation but the Steelers aren’t doing their safety random any favors by not having an capable backups.
7. Middle Linebacker
All signs point to this being Vince Williams’ final professional football season. Robert Spillane is yet to prove he’s an every down guy and Buddy Johnson is just too fresh to judge fairly. Devin Bush needs a legit running mate, and that player might come in the 2022 offseason.
6. Wide Receiver
JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington are both free agents come next spring. The Steelers could lose both of their most veteran receivers in one offseason and set the position back a couple years. Re-signing both or one of these guys would be a simple fix to the problem.
5. Tight End
It doesn't appear very likely the Eric Ebron experiment will last longer than his original contract. In today’s NFL, and in Matt Canada’s system, you need multiple guys that can play the spot and Pat Freiermuth will need a running mate. With such a young offense the Steelers should opt to address the position in the free agent market next year.
This all comes down to Ben Roethlisberger and if he’s still got it and if he wants to play any more football. If Ben wants another three years then the team really doesn't need to worry about the spot for a while. If this is it I would hope they bring in at least another veteran or first round pick to compete for the spot in 2022.
3. Outside Linebacker
The Steelers have zero depth at outside linebacker, and it’s a serious problem. The third guy plays a serious amount of snaps at both spots and on special teams, so adding someone else to the room this offseason is key. Cassius Marsh was abused by the Browns in the AFC Wild Card game and the team won't give significant snaps to a sixth round pick in their rookie year unless it is absolute necessity. Bringing someone in fixes these problems.
2. Offensive tackle
I’m higher than most on Chuks Okorafor however we can’t ignore he will be playing a new spot and is on an expiring contract. If the Steelers don't draft a quarterback early next year I fully support them trying to solidify the position. Okorafor could surprise us, but until we see him play this spot will remain on the list.
Every Steelers cornerback spot comes with a question mark. Will this be Joe Haden’s final season in Pittsburgh? Who will be the nickel corner? Will Cam Sutton replace Steven Nelson? Who are the top back up corners? Thankfully the 2022 draft class is loaded at the spot however that doesn't solve the problems in the now. A lot will boil down to the team’s ability to develop the guys on the roster, but another body might make things easier.
But what do you think? Which spot is the Steelers biggest hole? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.