It is the bye week, which means it is as good a time as every, during the regular season, to take a look ahead to next year’s draft. Yes, I realize there are still 9 regular season games remaining on the Pittsburgh Steelers schedule, but I also realize this week they don’t have one, so amuse me.
The Steelers draft needs could be listed as follows (in no particular order):
- OLB/Edge Rusher
- Offensive Tackle
- Defensive Tackle
With the 2016 season not close to being over, the major mock draft websites are strictly going on current standings in regards to draft position. So when looking at the potential prospects available, I focus more on the position than the player. Almost all websites have the Steelers drafting in the back half of the order, so I decided to compile a list of sites, and picks, here for your enjoyment.
Take a look at the picks below, and it becomes very clear where the experts see the biggest weakness on the team heading into 2017: OLB/Edge Rusher
23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri
“The Steelers don't have the greatest pass rush, and it's not like James Harrison is going to be around much longer. Bud Dupree will provide a nice boost when he returns from injury, but a starter is needed across from him.”
23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
“Cunningham’s game at Georgia on Oct. 15 was one of the best individual defensive showings this season—he made 19 tackles capped by a game-clinching stuff. He may not hit those heights each week, but it has become a usual occurance for him to make plays all over the field, for 60 minutes. Next to Ryan Shazier in Pittsburgh, he would have 100-tackle potential.”
“Just two of the club's past 33 draft picks have been used on blockers. Feeney, a returning All-American who considered leaving school early for the NFL last year, is powerful, athletic and technically sound -- among the reasons why he has only allowed one sack in his three-plus seasons as a starter.”
21. Pittsburgh Steelers: Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
“Despite their propensity for spending first-rounders on linebackers (three years in a row until 2016), the Steelers still need more talent across the entire unit. Lawrence Timmons will be 31 next season, and McMillan is the kind of athletic, physical presence who would fit perfectly on the inside next to fellow Buckeye alum Ryan Shazier.”
The experts have spoken, but what do you think? Do you like the prospects listed? Do you think the Steelers should target one specific position over others? Let us know in the comment section below.