The 2020 season of the Pittsburgh Steelers is officially over, and that means the off-season has officially started. When the off-season begins, fans rightly begin to look ahead. You look at the NFL Free Agency, both players who might come and go, and the NFL Draft.
Regardless of the free action or the draft, the discussion always arises from the team’s needs for black and gold. Everyone has their own thoughts about what is best for the team, and everyone has a right to their opinion.
This is just my opinion.
Below are my top 5 team position needs for the Steelers preparing for the new league year, freelance agency, and NFL Draft. This is just the first of many updated team requirements as things can certainly change between now and the new league year. For example, if the team were to bring back a player like JuJu Smith-Schuster, it would certainly affect the broad receiver position or the requirements of the top 5 team.
Okay let’s get down to business …
Before everyone rushes to the comments section right away calling me a sucker for putting quarterback on my list, listen to me. With Ben Roethlisberger reportedly returning for the 2021 season, this is the perfect time to find the quarterback you think might be “the guy” who’s moving forward. I understand the Steelers draft is 24th overall, but this quarterback class has several players who might be available later in the draft where the Steelers could step up to get their man. If you draw that quarterback, leave him injured for a year and move on. When Roethlisberger retires, it will be his job to develop further. Also, let’s not believe that you can win without a quarterback … it’s the most important position in football and why I have that position on my list.
2. Offensive tackle
The Steelers are likely to lose Alejandro Villanueva either through a free hand or through retirement, and that will leave a gaping hole in their offensive line. If the team is able to re-sign Zach Banner cheaply, he and Chuks Okorafor could be your first attacks in 2021, but investing in the position is certainly worth something to do at the start of the draft. Finding a left device for the future should be a high priority for the Steelers.
Maurkice Pouncey is reportedly hinting at a resignation and while I think he will return for another season with Roethlisberger, it has become clear that the Steelers will have to look to the position in the future. Sure, JC Hassenauer is a decent backup, but I don’t think anyone will consider him the next full-time starter. Pouncey has been huge for the Steelers since he was drafted in 2010, and it’s time they prep for a life without Pouncey this off-season.
4. EDGE rusher
The Steelers defenses are full of first and second round draft picks, and I think the team should consider an EDGE pass rusher in the middle rounds of the upcoming draft. That is, unless they want to bring a Veteran Pass Rusher to help TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith with their current assignments. The Steelers just won’t be able to sign Bud Dupree, and the depth behind Highsmith and Watt isn’t very solid. A pass rusher who can spell Highsmith and Watts, as Highsmith did at the start of his rookie season, is a good defensive move in hopes of not missing a hit in 2021 without Dupree.
5. Run back
Many fans put the running back position high on their team needs list, but for me, I think it’s more about blocking the players than the person playing the stone. It’s been proven that you can find quality running backs in the mid to late rounds of the NFL Draft, and if the Steelers are without James Conner in 2021, they’ll still have a pretty full running back room. Adding talent is never a bad thing, and that’s why I’m back on my top 5 list, but not at the top.
Other positions of distress:
So what does your top 5 team need? Let us know what you think in the comments section below, and stay with BTSC for the latest black and gold news and notes as they prepare for the 2021 off-season.