The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others—some already decided, some not.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.
These are the sorts of topics 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. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Will the Steelers draft an offensive or defensive lineman first?
One thing the Steelers don’t have a lack of is holes in their roster, or at least positions that they can quite reasonably upgrade. In fact, it’s hardly imaginable that they have enough resources in the 2022 NFL Draft to address them all, whether adequately or otherwise.
Numerically, the Steelers have a bigger need along the offensive line than the defensive line. They figure to need at least one more body at tackle after letting Zach Banner go and not bringing anybody in to replace him. But the defensive line is aging, and Stephon Tuitt’s status remains unresolved.
If the Steelers don’t draft a quarterback in the first round, nobody would be surprised if their first selection were to be an offensive lineman. Nor would anybody be surprised if it were a defensive lineman, either.
I personally don’t think it will be any position in the trenches, but it’s hard to imagine them going unaddressed through the entire draft. The question is, which position will be addressed first? The Steelers took two offensive linemen last year, in the third and fourth rounds, before adding a defensive lineman in the fifth.
This question might be easier to answer if we knew where Tuitt would be—both physically and mentally—come September. The Steelers haven’t even indicated that they know for sure, even though they have expressed confidence in expecting him to play. But until there is a firm commitment, there will be skepticism.