The 2017 NFL Draft is now just a short time away, which means that it will not be long now before we know a lot more about how each team will shape up for the 2017 season. The Pittsburgh Steelers are obviously in need of a quality draft, but the same could be said for nearly every team.
In the spirit of divisional rivalries, we are keeping our enemies closer than our friends, so for the three days leading up to the draft, we are going to be providing insight into the offseason of each of the Steelers’ rivals and what their draft needs and plan may look like.
2016 Record: 1-15
Offseason Additions: G Kevin Zeitler, C JC Tretter, WR Kenny Britt, QB Brock Osweiler
Offseason Losses: WR Terrelle Pryor, QB Robert Griffin III, QB Josh McCown, CB Tramon Williams, WR Andrew Hawkins, OL Alvin Bailey, OL Austin Pasztor
Round 1, Pick 1 (1)
Round 1, Pick 12 (12) (From Eagles)
Round 2, Pick 1 (33)
Round 2, Pick 20 (52) (From Titans)
Round 3, Pick 1 (65)
Round 4, Pick 1 (108)
Round 5, Pick 1 (145)
Round 5, Pick 32 (175) (From Patriots)
Round 5, Pick 38 (181) (Compensatory Selection)
Round 6, Pick 1 (185)
Round 6, Pick 4 (188) (From Texans through Bears)
As you can see, there was a lot of movement for the Browns this offseason, and all but one of those losses was a player who actually signed elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent. All but one of the other notable losses were players they chose to release from a 1-15 team, sans Pasztor, their primary right tackle a year ago, whom they have evidently chosen not to re-sign.
As you can see, the team does have a lot of resources. And they also have a lot of holes. They don’t have a dominant pass rusher, which is why I believe they will do the sensible thing with the first-overall pick and draft Myles Garrett.
The 12 they got from the Eagles last season could end up being Mitchell Trubisky, or be used to trade up for Trubisky. That is what I have been reading—even that they are considering Trubisky with the first-overall pick. I don’t think I can overstate how big a need quarterback is.
But that’s not the only need. They still need help in the secondary after losing several starters the past couple years. With five picks in the first three rounds, I wouldn’t be surprised if both a cornerback and a safety gets drafted in that range.
Carl Nassib could develop into a quality end, and Danny Shelton looks like a good nose tackle, but they don’t have any sure things for another defensive end, though Xavier Cooper could develop, and Desmond Bryant missed all of last season.
Wide receiver? Yeah, I think so. Britt is not an even exchange for Pryor. Corey Coleman will be a starter, but they don’t have a third guy that impresses me, and they can’t possibly be putting all their eggs in the Josh Gordon basket.
They have added two starting offensive linemen in free agency. They could address right tackle in the draft. right Now Cameron Erving is the front runner to start there.