At least 26 NFL prospects have toured the South Side. Taken selfies with the Lombardies, met with the coaching staff, gotten their free Pittsburgh Steelers’ gym bag. That leaves only four slots left from the allotted 30. Three if Jayron Kearse winds up making an appearance.
And of that list, only one edge rusher has been brought in. Dadi Nicolas, a, to me, Day 3 dart throw who may have the athletic tools, but is so raw and perhaps tough to coach that it makes it hard to imagine him thriving in the league.
It makes me think over my concern of Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert – potentially ignoring the very real long-term issues at outside linebacker because of the temporarily decent enough group which exists.
Now, it’s not worth really gripping about it until after the draft and the roster has been constructed. If the draft passes and there isn’t an upgrade at the position, I’ll be much more worried, which admittedly, amounts very little. The apocalyptic scenario I could create would make 2012 look like a vacation in the Caymans.
Right now, the threat level rivals more of Planet Nine. Totally speculative by an under qualified man on his computer.
But that concern is there. It’s easy to ignore an upgrade with all the other areas to shop for. In 2016, the Steelers can survive with Bud Dupree, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats, and a riding-into-the-sunset James Harrison.
In 2017, Harrison will be doing his T Bar exercises in his living room. Arthur Moats will be 29 and though he could hang around, as 2014 showed, he’s someone who could easily be riding the bench. Jones’ future is as murky as ever. Dupree is the only one you can vouch for and even then, we’re still not really sure what type of player he’ll become. The same is true for Anthony Chickillo, who is an even bigger projection than Dupree. It’s like anointing B.J. Finney your 2017 replacement for Ramon Foster. Maybe, but if that’s what you’re counting on, you’re crazy.
This isn’t the best class to target an edge rusher, and this isn’t an argument to definitely take one in the first, but with all the attention being paid attention to corner, safety, and nose tackle, outside linebacker has been ignored. If the Steelers take that approach, they’ll pay the price in the near future.