The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Which players participating in Combine workouts today are you most interested in seeing perform?
Today is Friday, the second day of March, which means it’s the first day for workouts at the 2018 Combine. On schedule for today are the running backs, offensive linemen, and specialists. Of the group, it would not at all be out of character to think that the Steelers might have interest in the running back and interior offensive line positions in the middle rounds of the draft.
The obvious caveat to the above is if Le’Veon Bell leaves, or even if the team fails to work out a long-term deal, which would strongly indicate that he will be playing elsewhere next season. In such an event, the running back position becomes a much higher priority that could see investment on the second day of the draft, though day one is probably somewhat unlikely, ideally earmarked for either a safety or inside linebacker.
Even if Bell is re-signed, it would not be a great shock, assuming that they do not add one in free agency, if the Steelers do draft another running back, and more likely one that has a skill set that favors work in the passing game, as James Conner, at least based on his rookie season, is geared more toward carrying the ball.
Along the offensive line, the red flag is at left guard, where Ramon Foster, already 32, is entering the final year of his contract. A veteran who always seems to miss a few games due to some nicks, it’s reasonable to ask if this will be his last season—and I have posed the question once or twice.
While I don’t side with Bill Barnell in believing that they need to make a high investment, as I actually remember that B.J. Finney exists, a two-year loss of both Chris Hubbard and then Finney as depth creates a vacuum behind the starters, setting up Jerald Hawkins and Matt Feiler as the backups, neither of whom can play center. A mid-round prospect would make sense here if the value is right.