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Steelers offense has a need for speed

The Pittsburgh Steelers offense needs to add speed in the worst way for the 2020 season.  Ever since the trade of Martavis Bryant, this team has lacked a true deep ball threat.  The problem has become even more amplified with the loss of Antonio Brown.  The lack of speed lends itself to more and more loaded boxes to stifle the run game.  With no deep threat to be concerned with, opposing defenses can also be bolder in sending blitzes.  Indeed this deficiency effects the entire offense in one way or another.

Personnel:

The Steelers had exactly one offensive player that ran a sub 4.5/40 on the roster for any significant time last season.  Deon Cain, who was a late season addition, ran an impressive 4.3/40 coming out of Clemson.  That’s it……just one player.

The team had another player during the pre-season who fit the bill in Diontae Spencer.  Spencer ran an incredible 4.27 at his Pro-Day at McNeee St in 2014.  Sadly he was cut before the season began, and was later signed by the Broncos.  Spencer turned out to be a fantastic return specialist in Denver, and is sure to have an expanded role next season.

The defense on the other hand boasted SEVEN players who broke the 4.5 plateau.  Those players were:

Sean Davis – 4.46

Artie Burns – 4.46

Terrell Edmunds – 4.47

Devin Bush – 4.43

Minkah Fitzpatrick – 4.46

Steven Nelson – 4.49

Ulysees Gilbert – 4.46

Kevin Colbert seems to rely heavily on drafting players on defense that have high a SPARQ score. SPARQ score is a metric which takes all a players testing, and determines the elite athletes at each position. Steelers value SPARQ score when evaluating draft prospects Maybe it’s time he used this strategy on offensive players as well.

 

Prospects:

As we all know by now, the Steelers do not have much money to spend in free agency this season. https://overthecap.com/calculator/pittsburgh-steelers/ There will be no free agent option for this issue.  The Steelers will have use the draft in order to fill this void.  While its still early in the draft process, a few names stand out in this year’s draft.  Keep I’m mind the team does not have a first round pick meaning the top end talent will be long gone by the time Pittsburgh selects.  Here is a reasonable list to keep an eye on:

Jalen Reagor – WR – TCU

KJ Hamler – WR – Penn St.

Brandon Ayuk – WR – Arizona St.

Anthony McFarland – RB – Maryland

These are the type of players who have the big play potential the Steelers should be looking for.  As the process goes on more names will surface as possible candidates.  Right now Jalen Reagor in particular is one to keep an eye on.  Rumor has it he will challenge Henry Ruggs for the fastest 40 time at the NFL draft combine.  Unfortunately that, and his impressive tape might drag him well out of the Steelers range come draft night.  https://youtu.be/gubmQmwqjIA

Anthony McFarland would add a game breaker at the running back position.  At this point, he profiles more as a third to fourth round range due to his injury issues.  When healthy, he is the type of home run hitting back this team could desperately use. https://youtu.be/AxB6yvpFBmo

There’s little doubt the Steelers offense needs to add speed to the mix this off-season.  Next to filling out the tight end position, it may be the top priority for Kevin Colbert.  Stick with Steelers Sanctuary through the draft process as we will be highlighting more potential candidates to fill this need.

 

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