For the third straight offseason, Pro Football Focus released its annual roster rankings for all 32 NFL teams.
The 2016 rankings see the Pittsburgh Steelers current roster ranked No. 4, according to Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson.
In the ESPN Insider article posted Monday morning, Monson lists Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Cameron Heyward and a surprising James Harrison as the five best players on the team.
On top of the five best players, Monson listed Alejandro Villanueva, William Gay, Robert Golden and Bud Dupreeas starters that should be upgraded before the start of the season.
The list of four starters that should be upgraded is quite surprising and one that I would assume most Steelers fans would completely disagree with.
In the article, Monson had this to say about the Steelers current roster:
“Even without wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who is suspended indefinitely, the Steelers have one of the most talent-rich offenses in the NFL. In Roethlisberger, Brown and Bell, they have the best “triplets” in the league. The offensive line is a pretty good unit, too, with only one question mark: left tackle. The only thing that slowed down Brown last season was Roethlisberger missing from the lineup — he was virtually uncoverable otherwise.
On defense the Steelers actually unearthed some talent, even in the secondary, but it just took most of the season to find it. Replacing the underperforming members of the secondary should help immediately. The defensive front has some impressive talent, too, with timeless Harrison still among the better outside linebackers in the league. Harrison notched 45 total pressures in 2015 and was by far the best of the Steelers’ edge players, showing up first-round draft picks Dupree and Jarvis Jones.”
Overall, Villanueva was solid last season as the Steelers made a deep playoff run without the services of former left tackle Kelvin Beachum, who torn his ACL against the Arizona Cardinals.
It is unfair to say that Dupree and Gay need to be upgraded, considering Gay was exceptionally solid all season long and Dupree has just five career starts, racking up 4.0 sacks in his first season in the league.
The Steelers rank behind the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers in Monson’s 2016 rankings. In 2015 Pittsburgh was ranked 12th, which was an improvement upon 2014’s ranking of 27th overall.