If you look up and down the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster, you’re going to find talent in a lot of places, make no mistake about that. While you have blue-chip players on defense like T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, and Minkah Fitzpatrick, you still have guys like Eric Ebron and Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson on the offensive side of the ball.
With that being said, this is an offseason more than most in recent years in which you could fairly say that the Steelers could use some help in bolstering their talent, and perhaps particularly from a depth perspective, though age and free agency may leave some notable holes, or at least ‘wants’, in some starting roles as well.
According to Pro Football Focus, there are three areas of the roster more than others that the Steelers need to address, and all of them come on the offensive side of the ball. None of them will be surprising, either. Specifically, they singled out the quarterback, the running back, and the interior offensive line. Sam Monson writes:
Whether Ben Roethlisberger is going to walk away or not, quarterback has become a need for the Steelers. The team’s overall quality and some unsustainable play on third down masked the fact that Roethlisberger wasn’t actually playing very well for much of the season. He finished the regular season with a PFF grade of just 69.0, which ranked 25th in the league. From a clean pocket — one of the most stable and predictive metrics in quarterback play — Roethlisberger ranked 33rd out of 37 qualifiers. The Steelers either need a new starter or a very viable succession plan who may have to be ready to take the reins sooner rather than later in 2021.
While they chose to focus on the quarterback position in their breakdown, the other two positions are worthy of discussion as well. The only running back on the roster who has had any sustained success is James Conner, and he is a free agent unlikely to be retained. The most likely replacement on-hand is Benny Snell, who has an awful lot to prove and a per-carry average worryingly below four yards.
Then there is the interior offensive line. Matt Feiler is an unrestricted free agent, and could even be moved back to tackle. Maurkice Pouncey could retire, and even if he doesn’t, he is not the same player that he once was. Neither is David DeCastro, for that matter, but not to the same degree.
Kevin Dotson is a young player at the position coming up, but they really need to add more talent here. That’s why you hear a lot of people talking about them potentially targeting this area for early in the draft, ideally a center-capable player, even if he might start out at guard.