With each Big Board article this spring, the BTSC Big Board crew will be publishing a second article complementary to that respective portion of the big board. This week’s topic is the defensive line, and our team of writers is here to share their opinions on whether or not the Steelers should draft a player at that position in the 2022 NFL Draft.
If you have thoughts as to whether or not the Steelers should draft a defensive lineman, let us know in the comment section below. Let’s see what our resident draft analysts have to say.
Ryland B.: Should Pittsburgh draft a defensive lineman in this year’s draft? It’s definitely a multi-faceted question. On one hand, if Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, and Tyson Alualu can all play at a level even close to how well they’ve played over the past few years, the Steelers are not only set at the position, but they might also boast one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL.
On the other hand, with Alualu returning from a season-ending injury and some massive question marks regarding Tuitt’s status — and none of these guys are getting any younger — it makes sense that the Steelers would want some fresh talent at the position.
But so many seem to forget that the Steelers aren’t just Heyward, Tuitt, and Alualu deep on their defensive line depth chart. Chris Wormley is an above-average backup who quietly had a 7-sack season in 2021, Isaiahh Loudermilk showed plenty of potential that he looks to build upon in his second year, and Montravius Adams was an impactful late-season addition who could have some starting potential.
With so many important needs in the 2022 offseason such as interior offensive line, offensive tackle, quarterback, cornerback, wide receiver, and possibly even linebacker, the team has far greater priorities than to spend a high pick on the defensive line. And a late round pick wouldn't make much sense for a team that has drafted a defensive lineman in round five or later for the past three drafts.
I’ve always preferred the “best player available” philosophy when it comes to drafting, so if there’s a major steal at the position at some point a defensive line pick could be justified. But if the team does decide to find a new player at this position, I’d rather them find an already established lineman through a trade or free agency.
Overall, I feel like this is a position that should best be upgraded in later seasons. There’s far too many other pressing needs in the here and now.
Andrew Wilbar: I would love to see the Steelers grab one of the 2-Gap nose tackles that have three-down ability. I love the skill set of Jordan Davis, but while I think he can become an elite nose tackle, the Steelers would have to use their first-round pick on him. I have no issue taking Davis in the first round, but the Steelers also have major holes at cornerback, quarterback, offensive tackle, and interior offensive line.
Assuming Tyler Linderbaum and Malik Willis are both off the board, I would certainly be open to the idea. However, a guy like Travis Jones would be intriguing in the second or third round, and it would allow the Steelers to address another position of need in round one. That would probably be my favorite scenario. As for defensive end, I want to wait and see what happens with Stephon Tuitt before speculating about the potential of drafting his replacement.
Geoffrey Benedict: You win in the trenches. The Steelers best teams had outstanding, and very deep defensive lines. Right now, the Steelers defensive line is 3 deep. After that it gets not very good very quickly. Cameron Heyward is 32, Tyson Alualu is 34 and coming off a season ending injury, Stephon Tuitt will either play or need to be replaced by a free agent.
Behind those players the Steelers have a bunch of guys that lost 1v1 in run defense far too much in 2021. I like Isaiah Loudermilk, I think he can develop into a Tyson Alualu type of lineman. I like Montravius Adams, he’s a good rotational DL. I still think the Steelers need to add a defensive lineman early in the draft.
Sadly no one jumps off the screen at me like Christian Barmore did last year. Some where in between the 2nd and 4th round the Steelers can get another Isaiah Loudermilk, or an even better version of him, one that can be in on passing downs and do something.
I thought the 2020 draft was the right time to invest in an early DL, this year it is overdue, and needs to happen.
Do you think the Steelers should acquire a defensive lineman this offseason? If so, when and how should they do it? Let us know your thoughts by voting on the poll and commenting down below.
How should the Steelers acquire a new defensive lineman this season?
This poll is closed
Don’t sign/draft a defensive lineman