With the Steelers’ 2023 offseason underway following a disappointing season that came up just short of reaching the playoffs, it’s time to begin reloading, through the free agency process, through the draft, and perhaps even through trade..
This is now a young team on the offensive side of the ball, though one getting older on defense, and both sides could stand to be supplemented robustly, including in the trenches—either one. Changes have been made to the coaching staff, even if not all of the desired ones, as the roster continues to renew with the weeks ticking by.
These sorts of uncertainties are what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
Topic Statement: A new nose tackle is one of the Steelers’ top remaining priorities.
Explanation: With the likely retirement of Tyson Alualu, the Steelers could be in the market for a new starting nose tackle. Montravius Adams was the beneficiary of Alualu’s demotion last year, but even if they assumed him to be the starter, they still need depth, which they currently do not have.
While the Steelers are busy revitalizing the offensive trenches, the hedges on the other side still need trimming. Andy Weidl may have been an offensive lineman, but he also prioritizes the defensive line, so it’s not likely that we’ll be sitting on this particular group for much longer.
Montravius Adams is a capable player, but would be better served as a number two tackle who might also line up in the nickel. I’m frankly kind of surprised that they didn’t already jump on Andrew Billings, who reportedly has signed to an affordable deal with the Raiders.
The good thing about nose tackle being a priority position is that it doesn’t have to come with a priority price tag. After all, they found Javon Hargrave in the third round. We’re not necessarily talking about a Jordan Davis situation.
They still need to upgrade at this position, but it’s far from the only spot on the roster that needs handling, and it’s not on the top of the list. They had a top-10 run defense last year with Adams. They have a couple of interesting names on the practice squad as well, and because the nose tackle is a bit of a dinosaur, it’s less of a hassle to find what you need.
On the other hand, the Steelers still need to find themselves a slot receiver, an in-line blocking tight end, a swing tackle—which could be even more important—or rather a starting tackle to make one of the current starters the swing man—I could go on. They still need another cornerback to start, and either a second or third safety, depending on their plan for Damontae Kazee. And Elandon Roberts is a placeholder at inside linebacker.