The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: If the Steelers select an inside linebacker in the first round, where do you go in Day Two?
With the broad bulk of the focus being on an inside linebacker for the Steelers in the first round, I wanted to try a little thought experiment as the real thing approaches. Let’s say Pittsburgh gets the inside linebacker they’ve been looking for the past year or so in the first round. What is the plan for the following day?
Pittsburgh has three Day-Two selections this year, including a high third-round pick that they got in return for Antonio Brown from the Oakland Raiders (in addition to a fifth-round pick). When they had three Day-Two picks last year, they used all of them on offense, adding wide receiver James Washington in the second round and then quarterback Mason Rudolph and tackle Chukwuma Okorafor in the third.
Wide receiver is another distinct possibility this year stemming from the Brown trade, but it’s highly unlikely they would draft another quarterback or tackle so soon. Running back and tight end, on the offensive side of the ball, would have to be considered in-play.
But the three biggest possibilities, I think, would continue to be on defense, and that is at cornerback, outside linebacker, and safety, perhaps in that order, though if Darnell Savage is somehow available when they select in the second round, that would be the pick to make.
Another hopeful candidate for the second-round selection would be edge rusher Chase Winovich, and there would be a number of attractive options at cornerback. At that point, the best one could hope for is Rock Ya-Sin, but he is increasingly being mocked into the first round and likely would be an early second-rounder.
While defensive line depth is a need, it would probably be surprising if they addressed this area as early as Day Two, at least before their second third-round pick, barring some unusual drop of a higher prospect.
What’s your plan for Day Two provided that inside linebacker gets taken care of on the opening day?