Morgan Burnett and Jon Bostic fill the biggest holes that the Pittsburgh Steelers had this offseason. However, the team will still be looking to add more talent at those positions.
When healthy, Morgan Burnett is a high-end safety. This fact allows the Steelers not have to worry about bringing in another at the position, especially with a high draft pick. The Steelers will probably bring a few more defensive backs in through the draft, but they won’t be required to play right away, rather focusing on their craft and possibly contributing on being game-changing special team players.
The situation at inside linebacker is a little different with Jon Bostic. He is capable of laying devastating hits, makes defensive play calls, and has a sneaky ability to cover. But he is not the long-term answer. The Steelers will bring in a linebacker early in the draft, but with Bostic, that player will have some time to develop before having to see the field full time. Day 2 prospect Josey Jewell is a name that comes to mind, when thinking about players the team may target early in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Steelers could take him at 60 and let him get comfortable in the defense before rushing him onto the field.
Now, the Steelers first-round pick also doesn’t have to be a defensive player. If the front office doesn’t believe they can sign Le’Veon Bell long-term, they could bring in the next bell-cow running back like Derrius Guice. If the thought of adding a running back on Day 1 doesn’t sit well with you, the Steelers could also use the pick on a Quarterback. No, not one of the top tier signal callers, but one who needs some developmental years sitting behind Ben Roethlisberger. The name Mason Rudolph has been coming up a lot over the past few weeks, and the Steelers have shown a lot of interest in the Oklahoma State quarterback.
As for the rest of free agency, the Steelers could just look for inexpensive depth/special team players. Much like last year when they brought in Tyson Alualu, but they will have to find a player to fill the role vacated by recently released Robert Golden. The former special teams captain being cut is a reason why the Steelers have brought in free agents like Michael Thomas of the Dolphins and Matthew Slater of the Patriots.
But back to Burnett and Bostic. Both acquisitions allow the Steelers to literally take the best player available when their number is called. Both players make the team better, and will help the Steelers on their quest for a seventh Lombardi, but the flexibility it also provides will undoubtedly help the team’s approach to the 2018 NFL Draft.
What do you think? Do the Steelers still need to take both an inside linebacker and safety with their top two picks? Let us know in the comment section below.