While the players work their tails off down south to make an impression on NFL scouts, coaches and general managers, fans are often wondering just who they should be watching.
For the Steelers, who select 30th in the 2017 Draft, you should be looking at positions, not necessarily players. The team needs should always be in the back of your mind, and in this instance, I’ve broken it down into the 5 positions Steelers fans should be watching this week in practice, and in the game this weekend.
The positions, in no particular order, are below, and the reason why the team should be targeting these positions in the upcoming draft.
OLB - Jarvis Jones is likely gone, James Harrison isn’t getting any younger, and Bud Dupree is the only edge rusher who is showing promise as a young player. Time for the Steelers to target some talent on the edge for the upcoming season.
QB - Ben Roethlisberger is threatening retirement, and although no one believes him, it might be time to find a mid-round quarterback to possibly be the future of the position. Landry Jones will be a free agent after this season, and Zach Mettenberger didn’t take a live snap in 2016.
TE - Jesse James has proved his worth at tight end, but David Johnson is a free agent and Ladarius Green’s concussions are a serious concern. Xavier Grimble had flashes in 2016, but the team could benefit from an athletic, pass-catching tight end.
WR - Antonio Brown is the man, but no one knows about Martavis Bryant or Sammie Coates. Eli Rogers looks to be the real deal, and Markus Wheaton is set to be a free agent. In other words, the Steelers wide receiver corps is in flux. A young pass-catcher could be the ticket in the upcoming draft.
DL - After Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt and Javon Hargrave, what do the Steelers have? Daniel McCullers, L.T. Walton and Johnny Maxey. In other words, they could benefit from adding to their depth along the defensive line with an athletic player who can both stop the run and rush the passer.
To hear more about all of these positions, listen to the latest Steelers Connection podcast in the player above!