It seems like a yearly practice when the Pittsburgh Steelers season ends that fans of the team gather around their keyboards and begin to predict the upcoming draft needs, and they almost always revolve around the team's secondary.
Fans aren't the only ones who believe such a thing. Experts across the world wide web agree the secondary is exactly where the Steelers should be looking in the early rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft, but to have such a quick knee jerk reaction to a porous secondary in 2015 seems extremely short-sighted.
In the latest SB Nation draft needs article, the Steelers needs focused solely on the secondary. See who they had as options for the Steelers with the No. 25 overall pick.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
This continues to be the pick for the Steelers. They have a tendency to draft Ohio State players, and Apple fills a big need on the outside.
Other options: Kendall Fuller (CB, Virginia Tech), Vonn Bell (S, Ohio State)
To say the Steelers will take a cornerback like Eli Apple or Kendall Fuller is easy. They aren't top tier cornerbacks, but players who will likely be available when the Steelers send their draft card in with the 25th pick. Vonn Bell is a talented player from a school the Steelers love to draft from, but again, the secondary doesn't necessarily dismiss the other potential needs on the team's roster.
The one glaring need for the Steelers is their depth along the defensive line. With the injuries suffered on the team throughout the 2015 season, they are very fortunate they didn't lose Stephon Tuitt or Cameron Heyward with a long-term injury. Tuitt missed a few games with a knee sprain, but was able to return for the stretch run after their bye week.
Drafting a quality player who can spell the two book end starters along the defensive line should be near the top of the team's draft needs list.
No one should also forget the team could very well lose an offensive guard in Ramon Foster to free agency who was not just the leader of the offensive line, but didn't miss a snap in 2015. Starting guards don't just grow on trees, and the team ignoring the offensive line in 2016 as they did in 2015 could spell disaster for a group that is in charge of opening holes for Le'Veon Bell, as well as keeping Ben Roethlisberger upright and healthy.
Also, with the fate of Kelvin Beachum, both physically and contractually, very much in flux, the team could be in the market for a potential swing tackle in the draft. Mike Adams could return to the team for cheap, but going younger, and healthier, at the position could be the way to go.
Addressing the offensive line should also be at the top of the team's draft needs list.
Now, don't get me wrong. The Steelers have some major issues and deficiencies at the cornerback and safety positions, but to think those are the only positions of need would likely be said from someone who isn't seeing the whole picture.
With the Senior Bowl approaching this weekend, the Steelers will start their pre-draft visits and meetings with potential draftees. Keeping an eye on this list will certainly give a glimpse into positions the Steelers are looking to target in the upcoming draft, but be warned, don't be upset if the Steelers decide to go elsewhere on Day 1 of the NFL Draft other than the secondary.