The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books, and it ended in spectacular fashion — though the wrong kind of spectacular — in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.
After setting a franchise record by opening the year on an 11-game winning streak, they followed that up by losing three games in a row. Pittsburgh went 1-4 in the final five, with only a 17-point comeback staving off a five-game slide. But all the issues they had in the regular season showed up in the postseason, resulting in their early exit.
The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions. And right now, they lack answers. What will Ben Roethlisberger do, and what will they do with him? What will the salary cap look like? How many free agents are they going to lose? Who could they possibly afford to retain? Who might they part ways with—not just on the roster, but also on the coaching staff?
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 is a year-round pastime and there always questions to ask. Though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Which position group is strongest following the 2021 NFL Draft?
We are now deep into the 2021 offseason. The vast, vast majority of the roster-building process in terms of talent acquisition is already in the books, with the primary free agency period and now the draft in the rearview mirror. We now have a good idea of the building blocks of the 53-man roster, and can begin making informed comments on them.
With these major tentpoles already staked, the question is raised: Which is the strongest position group, considered from the top to the bottom? Truthfully, I think this probably gets boiled down to one of two answers: Either the defensive line, or the wide receivers. But I think some might also consider the running back group now with Najee Harris in the mix. I suppose tight end with Eric Ebron and Pat Freiermuth may also get a mention.
For me, I would argue that it’s the defensive line. This is a position that they didn’t even need to address in the draft, but did anyway. Arguably the only question mark is the lack of an established second nose tackle. There is some optimism surrounding Carlos Davis as he heads into year two.
The Steelers didn’t even address the wide receiver position in the draft, but they didn’t need to. They still have JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool, which is a very high-upside group.