When taking a step back and getting an overview of the final tally in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2015 NFL Draft additions, it is interesting to see how it lines up with the needs present in the team’s roster prior to the draft.
With their eight selections, the Steelers addressed six positions after doubling down on cornerback and outside linebacker, which both they and the rest of the world identified as their two biggest needs.
They were also able to target coveted players at their biggest need positions at the top of the draft, starting with outside linebacker Bud Dupree in the first round and cornerbacks Senquez Golson and Doran Grant, who were additions in the second and fourth rounds, respectively.
Defensively, the Steelers also added to the depth along the defensive line and at the safety level, using a total of six out of their eight draft selections on that side of the ball.
On offense, they were able to secure a wide receiver in the third round and a tight end in the fifth, both of whom, they believe, provide good value for their draft position and add youth and depth, as well as firepower, to an increasingly important offensive unit.
While outwardly it would seem that the Steelers were able to hit on all of their defensive needs, they simply didn’t have enough draft picks to go around in addressing some of their ‘wants’ along the offensive side of the ball.
But they were able to accomplish that after the draft by adding priority undrafted free agents at running back and interior offensive line, which is two areas that they would have liked to address, and probably considered addressing at some point during the draft if the value and the right player ever came into alignment.
While the Steelers have their obvious starter at running back in Le’Veon Bell and added veteran DeAngelo Williams as his reserve, the 32-year old will have a short shelf life of just one or two seasons, and they could use another body to withstand Bell’s three-game suspension to start the season.
After the draft, the Steelers were able to secure running back Ross Sheuerman, who was considered a difficult projection due to the limitations provided by running behind a poor offensive line. The team also has a tryout scheduled for another running back, Jawon Chisholm. Sheuerman will compete with Josh Harris, and perhaps another undrafted free agent, to provide early depth.
The Steelers were also interested in adding depth to their interior offensive line, and they were able to secure a number of that type in their group of 12 undrafted free agents. The list is headed by B.J. Finney from Kansas State, who was reportedly promised an opportunity to compete to start at guard.
It’s also worth noting that Pittsburgh was able to add tight end Cameron Clear in addition to drafting Jesse James. Clear is another tight end that the Steelers had in for a pre-draft visit as they look to groom young depth in preparation for the eventual retirement of their top two at the position.