Ask Alex: Steelers Mailbag

Welcome back to your weekly mailbag. Apologies for missing last week and not mentioning it the prior mailbag. Since I was in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl, I wasn’t able to gold a mailbag last week. But we’re back for the next hour to answer whatever is on your mind.

To your questions!


Some quick yes/no questions
Will Trubisky stay?
Jaylen Warren will stay as #2 back, correct?
Will they trade down in draft?
Over/under on FA signings-3
Lastly, Tomlin speaks during the season of “splash” plays. I think front offices more than ever are making “splash” moves- Tyreek Hill, DeVante Adams, Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper, AJ Brown, Russell Wilson, etc. Do you foresee the Steelers operating this way as we head into the OK/AW regime? Seems like you need to in order to compete. Steelers way of draft and develop seems ancient. Teams want instant success now. Thoughts?

Alex: I’ll rattle them off here for you.

1. Tougher one but yes. What Rooney says goes.

2. Yes, Warren will.

3. Yes, they will at some point. First round, I don’t know. But I’ll say it happens at some point. No 5th or 6th round picks are big gaps.

4. Over, though they might not be stars or starters.

5. No, I don’t see them operating that way anytime soon. Right or wrong, they are a slow and steady wins the race kind of team. They don’t care about the outside noise.

Dan Blocker: Hi Alex – I’ve wanted to ask this question about a dozen different ways. So, I’ll just keep it simple. Why did Matt Canada’s offense work so well at Pitt, and can just executing a “simple” offense well in the pros make it effective?

Alex: That’s a good question, DB. I didn’t watch it as closely at Pitt as it is in Pittsburgh so I can’t tell you for sure. Probably for the reasons you mentioned. Simpler and faster can work better in college. Younger players, newer players, you don’t want to overload those guys with information. Core concepts that guys can run in their sleep.

It’s also probably worth noting Canada didn’t have super successful offenses either. He wasn’t exactly putting up the most points per game in college football.

Ian Suttie: Can Cole play LG? And if so, would he be an upgrade over Dotson?
If a top C prospect fell to the 2nd round would this allow the team to upgrade 2 positions with 1 pick?

Alex: He can. He played guard last year at Minnesota. Maybe he’d be an upgrade. He’s more technical, more consistent though it’s not a 1:1 thing projecting his work at center than at guard. But sure, if the team drafted the Steelers’ next great center, then there’d be a conversation about kicking Cole over. But I’d prefer to find a guard than moving Cole. I’d like to keep him in the middle.


Hey Alex. I’m seeing OT Skoronski often being mocked to the Steelers at pick 17. I saw some of his games and while solid, I didn’t view him as dominate. I’m concerned that he won’t be able to hand elite speed rushers that he didn’t come across much in the Big10. Slater of the Chargers came from Northwestern and supposedly had a good NFL rookie year. But I’d lean towards Broderick Jones of UGA if he and Skorondki were both there. Thoughts?

Alex: Funny you mention it. Jonathan has a report on him tomorrow. Fair points and those are the common critiques of his game, why some want to bump him inside. Jones is a bit more conventional-looking though it’s worth pointing out arm length shouldn’t be the pass/fail for if a guy can play tackle or not. Slater wasn’t a big guy, as you mentioned. And he had a great rookie year.

I’ll need to take more time to watch both of them, to be honest.

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