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Pittsburgh Steelers Offseason Team Needs – TSJ Sports

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With free agency on the horizon, depth will drive Pittsburgh Steelers draft needs in 2017

As the offseason nears and questions about roster changes will arise, the most asked question around Pittsburgh over the next few months will be: What are the Pittsburgh Steelers draft needs? The Steelers fell short of their Super Bowl goal when they lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. They have the roster to get to that point again next season, but free agency and injuries will fuel the need for depth.

Over the past four drafts, the Pittsburgh Steelers have used all but one pick from the first two rounds on a defensive player. The exception to the rule was Le’Veon Bell in the second round of the 2013 draft. Just five seasons ago, the Steelers were the oldest defense in the NFL, but they have turned a new leaf as they are now one of the youngest units in the league. They started three rookies on the defensive side last season with Artie Burns, Sean Davis, and Javon Hargrave.

Wide Receiver

When looking at the Steelers draft needs, we must go dig deeper into the heart of the roster. Last season, the wide receiver unit suffered a massive amount of injuries. With Martavis Bryant out for the season due to suspension, things got rough when Markus Wheaton, Darius Heyward-Bey, Sammie Coates, and Ladarius Green all missed significant time due to injuries.

The Steelers have always drafted well at the receiver position, especially in the later rounds. Expect the Steelers to target a player who can come off the bench and run routes, but more importantly be an asset as a kick return specialist. Some names to keep in mind are Stacy Coley from University of Miami, K.D. Cannon from Baylor, and Artavis Scott from Clemson.


The Steelers have been trying to bolster their secondary over the past couple seasons, as they have taken three cornerbacks and two safeties in the last two drafts. Rookies Artie Burns and Sean Davis had major impacts on the team throughout the season, and in the postseason as well.

The Steelers secondary was a middle of the pack unit throughout the entire season. They were 16th in the NFL in pass yards allowed per game and were 10th in points allowed per game. The demise of the Steelers season was when they could simply not contain the Patriots receivers in the AFC Championship game, specifically on third downs. The Steelers were 23rd in the NFL on third down conversions allowed and also pass yards allowed on third downs. Some names to keep in mind are Cordrea Tankersley from Clemson, Quincey Wilson from Florida, and Corn Elder from University of Miami.


So everyone has heard it by now, Ben Roethlisberger is contemplating retirement and the Steelers backup plan is Landry Jones. Jones has not been great in games where he has had to step into the starting role, but he has shown potential in small doses. Lets face it, there is no replacing Ben Roethlisberger who is a future Hall of Famer, so maybe Landry Jones is the answer.

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But there is never a for sure thing, so adding depth at the quarterback position can’t hurt. If Roethlisberger is there for one or two more years, taking a guy in the middle rounds to learn from him over the next couple seasons is a great scenario. Some names to look for are Brad Kaaya from University of Miami, Antonio Pipkin from Tiffin, or Patrick Mahomes from Texas Tech.

Statistics referenced via NFLGSIS