The Pittsburgh Steelers have some glaring needs heading into the 2018 season. Regardless of order, most would suggest those needs start with inside linebacker and safety. You could go on to quarterback, tight end, and possibly offensive tackle, but it’s likely no one is arguing the top-2 needs.
Even ESPN agrees when it comes to the team’s biggest and most glaring needs entering the off-season.
Address the need at inside linebacker
This assumes Ben Roethlisberger will continue his momentum of quality play and log at least one more season, which is hardly a guarantee but makes sense. The middle of the defense is a bigger need right now. The Steelers thought about signing Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower before Ryan Shazier went out with a spinal injury. The uncertainty opposite Vince Williams forces the team to evaluate options at inside linebacker in the draft and free agency. -- Jeremy Fowler
While I certainly could start the search for free-agent linebackers expected to hit the open market, which certainly will be coming as the free-agency period approaches, many unexpected players will be hitting the market as well.
Think of Joe Haden. Haden was in the Cleveland Browns’ training camp preparing for a comeback season after two injury-plagued years. Next thing you know, he was cut and suddenly became a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
No, singling out specific players is not the intent of this article. The intent is to figure out if the team should be looking to free agency to answer its needs, or if they should be looking to the 2018 NFL Draft for those answers.
A veteran player brings the intelligence and experience necessary to compete (e.g. James Farrior), but the young rookie certainly brings a ton of excitement, enthusiasm and athleticism (e.g. JuJu Smith-Schuster).
So, if you had it your way, which position(s) would the Steelers target in free agency, and which would they seek in the draft?
Let us know in the comment section below!