The Pittsburgh Steelers brought in their first free agent by signing former Colts linebacker Jon Bostic on Sunday to a two-year contract, and while fans were just excited to see the team make a move, the acquisition impacts the team’s depth chart at the position.
While Ryan Shazier remains on the Steelers’ official roster, he will not be playing football in 2018, so he has been omitted from the below depth chart, but when you look at the overall depth, it is clear the team is far from done adding talent at this position.
ILB Depth Chart
It is crazy to think how Bostic, a 2nd round pick by the Bears in 2013, would immediately be the No. 2 player on the depth chart, but it is the truth. Fort and Matakevich did very little last season to prove they are worthy of a starting role in this defense. After all, if they had such capabilities the team wouldn’t have had to sign Sean Spence off his couch to try and put a band-aid over the absence of Shazier.
However, the Steelers likely signed Bostic for his experience and price tag, mainly knowing they will still add a linebacker to the roster through the NFL Draft.
Several players, like Rashaan Evans of Alabama and Leighton Vander Esch of Boise State, have caught the team’s eye both at the NFL Scouting Combine and at teams’ official Pro Days.
With that said, the scariest aspect of this entire scenario is if the Steelers, who draft 28th in the first round, lose out on one of the top linebacker prospects in the early rounds. For someone wondering what a starting duo of Bostic and Williams would resemble, just look at how the defense failed to stop the run, and was gashed for big plays, down the stretch last season with Spence and Williams occupying the middle of the field.
This certainly brings up bigger questions about the team’s approach to free agency, and especially players and positions to target in the draft. While fans will debate this till the actual draft, there is no doubt the team cannot go into the 2018 season with their current depth chart at inside linebacker and expect to experience any type of success.