The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: If the Steelers selected somebody other than T.J. Watt with their selection, who would you have preferred it to be?
I was going to go with the obvious question of asking what everybody thinks of the selection, but I thought this would be more interesting.
The Steelers watched 29 players find new homes over the course of the few hours that separated themselves from the beginning of the draft to the time that their opportunity to add a player finally rolled around not so distant from the witching hour.
And as was anticipated, they wasted no time in making their selection once it was in. I was probably one of the few people who turned off Twitter to retain the surprise of the live broadcast, and after the pick was announced, a review of my timeline revealed that the pick was in 15 minutes before it was announced.
That player was, of course, T.J. Watt, which was obviously going to be an option if he was available. Multiple writers here mocked him in one version or another, while I had him listed as one of the first-round targets.
But he wasn’t the only target, and I know others likely were looking for somebody else in the first round. I mentioned on Twitter that my preference personally would have been Chidobe Awuzie at that point based on what had already transpired, for example, but I’m more than satisfied with Watt.
There were, however, several other potential targets for Pittsburgh to take there. As mentioned, there was Awuzie, and there were other cornerback options. There were three safeties available that would not have been absurd options. The wide receivers flew off the boards, and the top three tight ends were already gone, but there were definitely options available to them.
So, if you were the general manager sending the pick in when the Steelers came on the clock—assuming the scenario leading up to it was exactly as it actually unfolded—what name would you have had written down on the card if you were not picking Watt?