The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Safety depth, or lack thereof, is significant enough of a need to justify being the Steelers’ top draft pick in 2020 in the second round.
Explanation: The Steelers have no first-round pick, nor their natural third, with only a compensatory selection. Their only pick in the top 100 is 49th in the second round. While they have two young starters at safety, their depth behind them is quite lacking, basically with a special teamer and a practice squad call-up.
You saw how important an injury at safety could be just last season when Sean Davis going down in Week Two prompted the Steelers to make a bold move and give up a first-round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick. Of course, that was a special set of circumstances and not something that would happen any time a safety goes down and you have no depth, but it illustrates how important the position is.
And lest we forget, we live in a passing age. Your third safety is going to play. The Steelers prefer to run three safeties in their dime package anyway. Jordan Dangerfield isn’t going to do that. Marcus Allen isn’t going to do that. They need somebody else, and if that somebody needs to be taken in round two, then so be it.
As important as safety depth is, there are more pressing needs, I would argue. The Steelers have nobody of note behind any of their linebackers, for example, either inside or outside, and as it concerns the latter, you only have Bud Dupree under a one-year contract as a franchise player. In other words, you don’t even have a starter for 2021.
And the offensive side of the ball is where the real upgrade is needed. An infusion of a playmaker, ideally at wide receiver, is the elixir, and this is too deep of a draft class not to take advantage of the bounty. 49 may be the right spot. Otherwise they will have to wait all the way into the 100s.