With the first full phase of the 2020 NFL free agency process now over with, ESPN.com decided Monday would be a prefect time to update their power rankings. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were previously listed at 15th overall in ESPN’s power rankings back in early February, they remain slotted at that same spot to close out the month of March.
As part of each team’s ranking summary this time, ESPN asked their NFL Nation writers to describe in three words where the team they cover currently stands this offseason. That chore for the Steelers went to Brooke Pryor.
Three words: Checked the boxes. The Steelers filled their most pressing roster needs through free agency, allowing them the luxury of drafting the best available playmaker when they make their first selection at No. 49 overall in the second round. Guard Stefen Wisniewski and tight end Eric Ebron fill the most immediate needs, giving the Steelers a two-time Super Bowl champion to compete for the starting left guard spot and a tight end to be a big-bodied target in the red zone for Ben Roethlisberger. Quieter than most teams, the Steelers restructured the most expensive contracts and were efficient in the first wave of free agency, setting them up for more freedom when the draft rolls around.
Pryor failed to mention the Steelers recently trading for defensive lineman Chris Wormley in her summary. Additionally, shame on her for not highlighting the Steelers placing the franchise tag on outside linebacker Bud Dupree and issuing second-round tenders to tackle Matt Feiler and cornerback Mike Hilton. All three of those players being retained for at least the 2020 season are huge offseason moves by the Steelers, even though they were expected.
As far a the rest of the AFC North goes, the Baltimore Ravens have jumped up one spot to second overall in the latest ESPN.com power rankings. The Cleveland Browns, who have made quite a few offseason moves to date, remain at 22nd overall in the rankings while the Cincinnati Bengals are still ranked last at 32nd overall.
The top five teams in the ESPN.com power rankings to close out March are the Kansas City Chiefs, Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers.
In case your curious, the New England Patriots close out March ranked 13th overall, which is a drop of seven spots from early February.