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, we are going over this year’s class of inside linebackers and whether or not the Pittsburgh Steelers will want to draft that position in April.
If you have thoughts as to whether or not the Steelers should draft an inside linebacker. let us know in the comment section below. Let’s see what our resident draft analysts have to say.
Ryland B.: With the Steelers’ signing of Myles Jack, it seems rather apparent that the Steelers plan on the duo of Jack and Devin Bush to be their starting inside linebackers this season. However, I think the real key piece here is second-year ILB Buddy Johnson. Johnson seems to be the closest thing the Steelers have to a BUCK linebacker in their scheme while both Bush and Jack are more of the hyper-athletic MACK type. If Johnson can play at a quality level this year after a quiet rookie season, the Steelers could have a solid and versatile rotation with the three young linebackers. Behind these three are two solid special-teamers in Ulysees Gilbert III and Robert Spillane, the latter of whom has proven to be able to join the starting lineup in a pinch. So if Johnson pans out, the Steelers have a quality ILB room, one that even has some leeway for Bush’s inconsistent play after his knee injury.
But this is a very deep class when it comes to inside ‘backers, with around 8-9 defenders with varying skillsets who I believe could step in and contribute right away their rookie year. And with some question marks in the Steelers’ ILB room, especially regarding Devin Bush and Buddy Johnson, it definitely seems tempting for the team to solidify the position by picking someone like Darrian Beavers or Channing Tindall on Day 2. But in the end, I think they need to focus on other more pressing needs in the upcoming draft. ILB is a position the Steelers have invested a lot in over the past few offseasons, and despite the risk I think they need to trust those decisions and focus on shoring up other aspects of the team.
Andrew Wilbar: I am not sure the Steelers see this position as a major area of need, as some fans have suggested. I have concerns as to how well Myles Jack will fit in the Steelers’ 3-4 scheme, and I am not a firm believer in Buddy Johnson, but I think the Steelers are much more optimistic about the outlooks of both players.
Quay Walker will likely be gone before pick 52, but Troy Andersen from Montana State is a guy I could absolutely get on board with on day two. Darian Beavers would be a solid value pick in round three, but I think the best option would be to wait until day three and take a chance on LSU linebacker Damone Clark. Clark recently underwent spinal fusion surgery, and he is unlikely to see any playing time in year one, but he would be the perfect BUCK linebacker next to a fully healthy Devin Bush.
Do you think the Steelers should acquire an inside linebacker this offseason? If so, when and how should they do it? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll and commenting down below.
How should the Steelers acquire a new inside linebacker this season?
This poll is closed
Don’t sign/draft an inside linebacker