OUTSIDE LINEBACKER – This has been a glaring need for some time now. Pittsburgh hasn’t had a player with double digit sacks in what seems like a lifetime. Bud Dupree may be the answer on one side, but the other outside linebacker spot is wide open. Jarvis Jones will not be back, Anthony Chickillo and Arthur Moats are average at best, and James Harrison’s best days are long behind him. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Steelers to draft two outside linebackers this time around.
INSIDE LINEBACKER – To be successful at running the 3-4 defense the way the Steelers do, they really need four outstanding linebackers. Well right now they have one and a half with Shazier and Dupree. Pittsburgh should move on from free agent Lawrence Timmons despite the season he had in 2016. He is a very good in run support, but often is taken advantage of in the passing game. The Steelers need to find a more athletic option at the position in order to compete with the pass happy offenses in the NFL.
SAFETY – Pittsburgh hit a home run drafting Sean Davis in the second round of last years draft. Now it’s time to address the position again in 2017. The team is very thin at this crucial spot on the defense. Robert Golden and Jordan Dangefeild are decent special teams players, but that’s all. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to have somebody there to push starter Mike Mitchell either. His poor tackling and bad penalties have proven costly on more then one occasion.
QUARTERBACK – It’s time to start preparing for life after Ben Roethlisberger. His latest comments about possibly retiring should serve as a wake up call. Big Ben may very well have four or five good years left in him, but there’s no guarantee for that. Roethlisberger has taken a beating over his career and the cumulative effect of that is starting to show. They missed a huge opportunity in last years draft with players like Dak Prescott and Jacoby Brissett going later on in the draft. It is said to be a weak quarterback class this year, but it would be in the Steelers best interest to take a flyer on someone from round three on.
RUNNINGBACK – Le’veon Bell is one of the top running backs in football without question, but what is his long term future with the team? The Steelers are not likely to give him a long term deal this offseason. They will probably opt on giving the talented running back the franchise tag instead. Bell is one injury or off field incident away from being an ex-Steeler. Drafting a running back for depth, and for an insurance policy is just good managing.
CENTER – This is another position where the Steelers have one of the best in the business. Maurkice Pouncey a fantastic center, but has had a rough time with injuries the last few years. In fact, he has missed almost two full seasons out of his last five. Drafting and developing a young center behind Pouncey now seems like the prudent thing to do.