With holiday deals galore available to anyone and everyone this time of year, it’s the yearly tradition of looking back in the NFL on some of the “best buys” each team has made ahead of the 2021 season.
Sure, this is all in hindsight by Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobelski, but it’s still a fun exercise as offseason acquisitions typically tend to go one of two ways: excellent additions that have a large impact, or become disappointments where overpaying comes into play.
Fortunately for the Pittsburgh Steelers, in an off-season in which the organization went all-in on one final Super Bowl run, names like Trai Turner, Miles Killebrew, and Joe Haeg have had positive impacts. For every Turner or Killebrew, there’s a Melvin Ingram, which tends to happen when teams become active in free agency.
Fo the Steelers though, the “Best Buy” of 2021 didn’t come through free agency. Rather, it came via trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars as the Steelers acquired starting linebacker Joe Schobert on the cheap, giving the Steelers some sound play inside next to Devin Bush.
“Schobert provided the type of reliability the Steelers needed among their linebacker corps. The 28-year-old veteran leads the team with 67 total tackles, and he’s tied for fourth with four defended passes,” Sobelski writes. “Because of how poorly Devin Bush has played this season, Schobert’s competency in the middle has been even more valuable.”
Schobert has certainly helped solidify the interior of the Steelers defense, especially with all the injuries the team has been dealt on the defensive side of the ball. He remains a tackling machine, though he has yet to really make any significant plays in coverage, which was his calling card coming over to the Steelers.
He’s easily a great buy though, considering the Steelers gave up nothing more than a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to acquire the former Pro Bowl linebacker and playmaker. So far, Schobert has remained healthy and on the field and has been a consistent tackler overall in the middle of the Pittsburgh defense.