2017 Offseason Questions: Division Raid – What AFC North Player Would You Steal?

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 you could add one player to the Steelers’ roster from a division rival, thereby taking him away from that team, who would you choose?

Inspired by a question that we asked recently about what player from the Jets’ roster you would want to pilfer, it’s time to put the AFC North spin on the idea. The Steelers have won a couple of division titles in recent years, but depending on the season, they have had a hard time getting past the Bengals or the Ravens.

Assuming an unrealistic hypothetical in which the Steelers were given the opportunity to add to their roster one player from one of their division rivals, regardless of cash or cap considerations, which player would you choose to add, and why? For a scenario as open as this, there are no doubt many legitimate answers.

Let’s try to avoid the more convoluted ideas, however, such as taking Joe Flacco in order to flip him to a team desperate for a quarterback. That kind of goes against the idea behind this exercise.

My answer will be framed in the perspective of the Steelers working within a dwindling window, so I would not want to take a player that I would expect will require time to develop, such as Marlon Humphery.

In my eyes, the Steelers’ most significant weaknesses in the starting lineup in terms of proven commodities would be inside linebacker, tight end, cornerback, and outside linebacker.

Were I to choose an inside linebacker, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the pairing of Ryan Shazier with the Ravens’ C.J. Mosley. Adding an outside linebacker, or edge rusher more generally, the division lacks spectacular names at this point, so I would settle on developing Myles Garrett hoping that he can make some immediate contributions.

Because of Tyler Eifert’s injury history, I would lean toward pilfering yet another 2017 first-round pick from the Browns, David Njoku. Adding a cornerback, I might well go with the one Baltimore just added this spring, Brandon Carr. Tavin Young to plug into the slot would have been tempting had he not torn his ACL.

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