Since the start of the new league year, the Pittsburgh Steelers have done a nice job of addressing some key needs, involving the retaining of some of their own talents, but most notably, making a number of additions via outside free agents. Thus far, they have signed two offensive linemen, a quarterback, an inside linebacker, and a cornerback, as well as a return man. They’ve also retained starters at tackle and cornerback, and preserved depth on the defensive line and in the secondary.
Yet is this a complete team? Far from it? In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, their two biggest needs are ones that they have already addressed: quarterback and offensive tackle. Those are the two positions—and the only two positions—listed by Anthony Treash as the team’s post-free-agency draft needs.
“The Steelers will be looking to Mitchell Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins as their possible options at quarterback for 2022, and they have all produced more turnover-worthy plays than big-time throws for their careers”, he writes. “Needless to say, this remains a significant need”.
Suffice it to say that nobody in Pittsburgh is banking on Trubisky being the future. After all, his two-year contract has a base value of just $14 million. Other teams have spent more on obvious backups in the past. But he most likely will be the starter this year, at least.
Then there’s tackle, where second-year Dan Moore Jr. and fifth-year Chukwuma Okorafor (the aforementioned re-signee) are projected to be the starters, and really, without any valid alternatives at the moment. The thing is, neither of them played particularly well last season, even if you buy into their growth potential.
Yet what I fail to understand is how the article went without mentioning the wide receiver position. After all, they did just lose three wide receivers. Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool are the only notable retentions from last season, and I highly doubt this omission was based on the potential for Steven Sims and Anthony Miller to take over key roles.
Safety could easily have been acknowledged, as well, because it’s obvious that the team’s starting strong safety in 2022 is not currently on the roster. Whether that ends up being Terrell Edmunds or not remains to be seen, but clearly, someone will be signed or drafted who will start there in 2022.
Of course, the quarterback position is always on the top of the to-do list until you have your franchise guy. Do the Steelers believe that Liberty prospect Malik Willis is that guy? Mike Tomlin’s face at his Tuesday Pro Day would suggest—yeah, probably. Whether or not they can get into position to draft him is another question.