Now that the Steelers have done the majority of their free agent shopping, it’s time to turn our attention to the draft. If nothing else, the team has created themselves a little room to be flexible with their first round pick. Having plugged the major holes on the defense, they have freed themselves to take the best player available. The rest of the roster seems pretty much set aside from possibly needing another pass rusher. Tight end has been a position the team has struggled to fill since Heath Miller retired. Maybe Kevin Colbert has a surprise in mind when the team selects at pick 28.
If the Steelers go in this direction, the clear choice would be Penn St. tight end Mike Gesicki. Most people knew Gesicki was a good tight end prospect in college. Then the combine hit, and the talented tight end knocked it out of the park. At 6’5″ inches and 247 pounds, Gesicki still ran a 4.54 forty yard dash. That’s an incredible time for a man that size. He clocked in at the 90th percentile or better in a whopping seven categories at the combine. After a showing like that, Mike Gesicki clearly established himself as the best athlete at the tight end position. Combine that with his size, and you have yourself quite a weapon to play with on offense.
The Steelers have gone this route once before. The signing of Ladarius Green two seasons ago was an attempt to add a stretch tight end to an already potent offense. Having such an athletic player a tight end opens up a world of options for offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. We saw glimpses of how effective it can be in the short time Green managed to stay healthy. Gesicki would be a matchup nightmare for defenses around the league. Too big to be covered by slot corners, and to athletic for most linebackers. The knock on Gesicki is he is an average blocker at best. That just so happened to be the same knock on Green, and that didn’t deter Pittsburgh.
Defense remains the priority for the Steelers in the upcoming draft. There’s little doubt that the majority of the draft will be on that side of the ball. The team now has a little wiggle room should all of the first round caliber linebackers and safeties are off the board. With the defense still promising to struggle a bit in 2018, why not take a player to super-charge the offense. After all, we saw in this past Super Bowl offense can actually carry you to a championship.