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: If the Steelers use multiple draft picks on one position, which is the most likely to benefit?
There are only so many positions in the game of football, so it’s not exactly a rarity when a team uses multiple picks within the same draft class to address one position. The Steelers actually do this fairly regularly, as recently as last season.
They doubled down on two positions, in fact, taking outside linebackers T.J. Watt and Keion Adams in the first and seventh rounds and cornerbacks Cameron Sutton and Brian Allen in the third and fifth rounds. They also drafted two cornerbacks in 2015, with Senquez Golson in the second round and Doran Grant in the fourth. Coincidentally, outside linebackers Bud Dupree and Anthony Chickillo came from that same class, in the first and sixth rounds.
Without exhaustively reliving the Steeles’ history of drafting multiple players at the same position (it is a frequent occurrence), suffice it to say that there is a reasonable chance that it happens in the 2018 NFL Draft.
I think there are some positions that we can fairly rule out, such as quarterback, running back, the offensive line positions, defensive end…kicker. In fact, I would say that the majority of positions should be seemed safe from an overabundance of draft additions.
But they do have seven tracks picks, and there are a number of positions at which they are likely to consider selecting multiple players. Given the fact that they cut two safeties, and the possibility of them still cutting yet another, safety may be the frontrunner as the candidate to receive multiple additions.
While the Steelers drafted two outside linebackers last year, it could happen yet again for the third time in four years. There are only three players with experience on the current roster, and they may be viewing this as the final season with Dupree. The other major consideration would have to be inside linebacker, even with the addition of Jon Bostic. I would not completely rule out the possibility of multiple tight ends or wide receivers either, though the value would have to be particularly great for that to happen, in my opinion.