How stacked are the 2016 Pittsburgh Steelers? According to NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks, not only are the 2016 Steelers the second-most talented team heading into the season, they’re the best in the AFC.
“The Steelers could be downright scary in 2016, with a roster that is chock-full of blue-chip talent on both sides of the ball,” writes Brooks. “The offense features the most explosive version of the “Triplets” (quarterback, running back and wide receiver) in the NFL today, with Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown all ranking among the absolute best at their respective positions. (Bryant has the raw skills to become a true star, but his season-long suspension puts that on hold for 2016.) On defense, the emergence of Timmons and Heyward as impact players along the front seven could help the defense return to the ranks of the elite and help fuel a Super Bowl run down the stretch.”
It’s hard to find anything wrong with Brooks’ assessment of the Steelers and the same goes for the players he listed as being blue chips in Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Cameron Heyward, and Lawrence Timmons. Additionally, he listed Martavis Bryant, Stephon Tuitt, and Ryan Shazier all as risers.
As far as the rest of Brooks’ rankings go, he has the Seattle Seahawks ranked first overall and ahead of the Steelers. Additionally, of the three other AFC teams that made Brooks’ top 10, the Cincinnati Bengals are the only other team from the Steelers division and they are ranked seventh overall.
If it’s not already evident enough, the Steelers will have high expectations to meet in 2016 and with good reason. Not only will they enter the 2016 regular season with one of the most talented rosters in the league, their schedule should benefit them as well as they won’t have to travel long distances this year for their away games.
In short, barring a significant amount of injuries at key positions, there’s no reason to think this year’s Steelers team can’t make a legitimate run at a seventh Lombardi Trophy in 2016 and that will likely be a common theme you will hear the remainder of the offseason.