The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a busy offseason thus far, and this all started when the league’s legal tampering period began. The Steelers wasted little time making moves, and they used their new found salary cap space to help bolster their roster.
As most fans know, the goal for the Steelers every offseason is to have their free agency period fill all of the holes on their roster, and then they can approach the NFL Draft with an open playbook, so to speak.
When you look at the Steelers’ moves made this offseason, they’ve done just that.
Free Agent Additions:
QB Mitchell Trubisky
OL Mason Cole
OL James Daniels
CB Levi Wallace
LB Myles Jack
KR/PR/WR Gunner Olszewski
LB Genard Avery
DL Montravius Adams
CB Akhello Witherspoon
OT Chuks Okorafor
SS Terrell Edmunds
S Karl Joseph
S/LB Miles Killebrew
CB Arthur Maulet
During Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert’s pre-draft press conference Monday, Tomlin said just that when he was asked about how free agency has set up the team’s draft plan. Check the video below:
"We think that free agency has really set us up nicely to have a good draft." Coach Tomlin pic.twitter.com/CYQrOUc5Nl— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 25, 2022
On top of the free agent moves which have been made, Tomlin and Colbert both spoke openly about how the draft process has been much better than in past years. The biggest difference? The lack of protocols placed on teams/scouting departments.
This has allowed the Steelers to have a “good feel” about the process considering the NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, Pro Days and individual pre-draft visits were all a go for the first time in almost three years. Some might shrug it off, but it helps the Steelers narrow their focus when they can talk with these individuals, in person, more.
Mike Tomlin on draft prep: "It's a good feel because we've had the totality of the process" referring to have the combine and pro days for the first time in 3 years.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) April 25, 2022
On top of that, Colbert said he feels more prepared for this draft compared to others, citing good information and a good number of visits leading up to the three day selection process as to the main reasons why they have confidence.
Colbert says he feels more prepared for this draft maybe than some others -- says they got good info and a good number of visits.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) April 25, 2022
This NFL Draft is more than just Colbert’s last, it is a vital part of the future of the organization. With Ben Roethlisberger retired, and Colbert on the way out, having the cupboard stocked with young talent will be paramount for the future of the franchise.
Everyone views rookies differently, as it pertains to how much they should contribute their first season as a profession, and Colbert outlined what he feels with rookies. Colbert told the media the team’s top three picks, Days 1 and 2 of the draft, have to become starters in the Steelers’ business model.
The Steelers did a good job in the 2021 NFL Draft finding NFL ready players, but this year, equipped with cap space, they were able to fill some of the voids with veteran players. This should decrease the necessity for rookies to play, but the expectation remains the same based on the round the prospect is drafted.
Will the Steelers be able to hit more home runs than strikeouts in this year’s draft? It certainly would be helpful as the team has an offseason filled with transition. The better the draft class, the more equipped the team will be for future success.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of free agency and the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft.
For more information on Tomlin and Colbert’s press conference, check out the Press Conference Recap podcast below: