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: What was your favorite selection of the Steelers’ draft class?
For the purposes of this question, I would like you to take all factors into consideration: perceived draft value, team needs, future projections, etc. As long as it’s something that’s relevant to football in a meaningful way, feel free to make it a part of your consideration.
The Steelers had nine picks a year ago. This time, they had only six, their fewest in more than 15 years, so there isn’t a lot to choose from, and no first-round pick. On the second day of the draft, they had two selections: second-round wide receiver Chase Claypool and third-round outside linebacker Alex Highsmith.
Day Three saw the Steelers make the bulk of their selections, four in total, including two in the fourth round, where they selected running back Anthony McFarland and guard Kevin Dotson. In the sixth round, they selected a safety/linebacker in Antoine Brooks, Jr., and picked up a defensive tackle in the seventh round out of Nebraska, Carlos Davis.
I would be pretty surprised if anybody goes for the late-round picks. Those who were on the ‘draft a running back’ committee might go with McFarland; however, I suspect a lot of people are going to gravitate toward Kevin Dotson.
For me, I like Dotson a fair bit, if they can train him to pass protect. I might stick with the top with Claypoool. He has a lot of great traits and I don’t believe his potential is tapped by any means. He may only catch single-digit passes as a rookie, but I think he will be a starter for years to come, down the line.