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: Which position is the strongest following the 2020 NFL Draft?
It is, of course, the inevitable follow-up question. Yesterday, I asked which position on the Steelers’ roster remains the thinnest following the 2020 NFL Draft. Today, I ask you: which is the strongest area of the roster, whether it was boosted by the draft or not?
The question can be approached in two ways: either the strength of the position for the 2020 season, or the strength of the position for the long-term future. One also has to weigh the quality of the starters versus the quality of the depth.
With the selection of Chase Claypool, I’m guessing that the wide receiver position will be the recipient of a decent amount of mentions, with the depth chart now including JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Diontae Johnson, plus the big rookie, each of them offering something a little different.
The running back position, at least for 2020, also offers intrigue, and quite simply, too many bodies. Between James Conner, Benny Snell, Jaylen Samuels, Kerrith Whyte, and Anthony McFarland, there is very nearly a little bit of everything now. You can throw fullback Derek Watt on top of the pile.
Defensive end, if isolated from the defensive line as a whole, would be my clear favorite. Just look at the depth chart: Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu, Chris Wormley, Isaiah Buggs. They have too many. At least one will have to be kicked inside, or to the practice squad.