The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
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: Who are the prospects at the Senior Bowl that you most hope the Steelers are keeping an eye on?
Any way you slice it, quite frankly, this is not going to be the most exciting of offseasons for the Steelers and their fans as it concerns the addition of talent via outside free agency and the draft. With little cap space—and the demands of a starting edge-rusher salary looming—in addition to no first or natural third-round draft picks, Pittsburgh is not going to have much ammunition to reload, so to speak.
Their first draft pick will be somewhere around the 50 spot, and their second will not come until perhaps around 100, assuming that the team does indeed get a third-round compensatory draft pick for the free agency loss of Le’Veon Bell.
For perspective, despite trading a second-round pick away, the Steelers still had three picks in the top 83 last year. They had four in the top 100 in 2018, and four in the top 105 the year before that. Now…they’ll have two.
Which means that now more than ever they have to be sure that they make them count. As well as every draft pick that follows. The Senior Bowl is only a relatively small slice of the draft pool, admittedly, with something like 100 underclassmen entering the draft this year, but which of the individuals practicing and playing down in Mobile right now do you have on your radar for Pittsburgh?