When it comes time for the Pittsburgh Steelers to make their first selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, there is not one clear consensus position for what that pick might be, or even should be, as it has been in other years. many, for example, took it as a foregone conclusion that their top pick last year would be an inside linebacker if at all possible, and they made it possible.
Of course, it’s a lot harder to predict what position the first pick in a team’s draft class will be when that pick doesn’t even come until the middle of the second round. Many, however, do seem to feel that the offensive skill positions most need to be addressed. Among them is former Steelers cornerback Rod Woodson, who felt pretty strongly about it.
Speaking to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he even went so far as to say that he thinks “it would be a wasted pick if they used it on a defensive player”. Of course, the defensive side of the ball is coming off of its best season in about a decade or so, while the offense—well, flip it and reverse it.
“Their first obvious needs are receiver and running back”, the Hall of Famer would go on to say. “They need help for that offense. I think they need a receiver more, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they took a running back”.
Were it not for the free agent addition of Eric Ebron, tight end would probably be getting a lot more attention, even in spite of the fact that this is widely regarded as being a weak draft class for the position. Perhaps that is why they made the move to add through free agency in the first place.
As it concerns running back and wide receiver, however, the team has done very little since the end of last season. The only player that they have added to either position is a wide receiver named Saeed Blacknail, who comes over from the XFL.
That said, the Steelers have not lost any players of note from either position group from last season, the only loss being Johnny Holton, a special-teams-first wide receiver whom they chose to release, without meaningful salary cap implications.
Their top three wide receivers are all back in JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and James Conner, with Ryan Switzer and Deon Cain rounding out the group, plus a number of practice squad players retained as futures signings.
At running back, they have all five who finished the year on the 53-man roster returning: James Conner, Benny Snell, Jaylen Samuels, Trey Edmunds, and Kerrith Whyte. At fullback, they did swap out Roosevelt Nix in favor of Derek Watt.