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: Would you still draft a running back on the third day of the draft?
Opinions were quite varied when it came to debating whether or not the Steelers should use some of their relatively spare draft resources on the running back position, an area of the roster that already returns five players who finished the season on the 53-man roster a year ago.
The best argument in favor of that was the idea that they would be looking for a player who can start in 2020, assuming that they do not retain James Conner beyond this season. Typically, if you’re looking for a starter at just about any position, you would like to do that in the early rounds.
Now that we are into the fourth round, however, is there really much incentive to look at the running back position? They already have Conner, a former third-round pick, even if he is in his fourth year. Jaylen Samuels, primarily a pass-catching back, was a fourth-round pick in 2018. Benny Snell was drafted in the fourth round a year ago.
Do we need another Benny Snell when we already have a Benny Snell? On top of that, we have a Kerrith Whyte, too, who flashed some potential in his six games at the end of last season and might even function as a returner. A 2020 crew of Conner, Snell, Samuels, and Whyte; would it really be bolstered by a day-three pick, or would these last draft resources be better-spent invested elsewhere?