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: Which position on the Steelers’ roster was most improved, in both the long and the short view, as a result of their draft decision?
The Steelers are on record as an organization that views the draft as the way in which they go about building their team, a position that they hold more staunchly than just about any other team in the league. Even the Packers were more active in free agency this year.
So the whole idea of the draft is to come away from it with players who are going to make your team better at the positions they play. With the draft picks in now, it’s time to ask the question, where did the Steelers get better the most on the roster as a result of their draft?
To get the sarcastic answer out of the way first, which may not be as sarcastic as it was intended, long snapper can be considered that if we do later manage to find out that Greg Warren is breaking down and may ultimately hang it up.
An obvious contender would have to be the highest pick in their draft going to the outside linebacker position. They now have two first-rounders here from the past three drafts, both with high upside. With James Harrison still going strong, I’m not sure how much short-term impact T.J. Watt has, but he obviously has a huge influence on the long-term improvement.
Cornerback is a position in which they doubled down, adding Cameron Sutton in the third round, who can compete for the starting slot position immediately, which was where they struggled most on defense last year. If he can secure that area, that would make a big difference. Long-term, if they manage to develop former wide receiver Brian Allen, with his length and ball skills, well…yeah, that would be nice.
Joshua Dobbs? That could be an awfully big deal depending on his future, but we won’t know for years, most likely. At the very least, the hope is that he becomes a dynamic backup, and with his athleticism, perhaps he could even get involved in more than that based on what he might be comfortable with. He is a skilled runner, and did even catch a couple of passes. Not calling him Kordell Stewart, but…