Steelers Offseason Needs NFL 2022: Free Agency And Draft Preview
I’ve been looking forward to doing the Steelers offseason needs since I’ve started writing these on every NFL team. A lot of people from the site are beloved Steelers fans and it’s fun to watch them bicker about the direction of the franchise. I’m sure they can relate when Tanner Pike and I used to go at it. My best friend, who writes at the site, is also a Steelers fan, so it’s always fun to analyze the Steelers and see what they can do. The Steelers have a lot of options and the resources to pursue each option so analyzing what this team could do this off-season will be interesting for sure. Let’s get into it.
Steeelers Free Agency
First, let’s go free agency here to address the Steelers offseason needs. The Steelers have cap space to do a lot here, they have more than $45 million to play with. Being that they were competitive despite Big Ben’s obvious decline Is encouraging for them. They can bolster some positions and run it back. Let’s just talk about the obvious elephant in the room: QB. The Steelers have major questions that don’t provide a lot of answers. Mason Rudolph sucks and is racist, so fuck him. Dwayne Haskins is unproven with potential. The QB free agency class leaves much to be desired. Could they trade for a QB? Maybe, but why? The Steelers won’t find their answer in free agency. I do think they need a short-term solution in free agency and getting a backup QB would be it. There are plenty of those in free agency and they should take advantage and get the best one they like with the notion that he is the long-term BACKUP. As long as that’s understood and they don’t overpay. That will help. Unfortunately for the Steelers, this is not the best class to get premier OL. Their best bet is to bolster their depth and prepare for inevitable injuries. Having great depth on OL can be helpful when it just isn’t that good. Get a few team-friendly contracts on the line and look to the draft to help fix their OL. At WR, they will lose JuJu (I’ll let you determine if it’s THAT much of a loss) and James Washington. So, the need at WR is there. The problem is, with the uncertainty at QB, not a lot of WRs will buy into that. They do have Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson still, both guys I like, so they might have to roll with those guys. I say that meaning they won’t get any TOP WR, but they should flirts with some WR2 or WR3 guys to help with their depth. Christian Kirk, DJ Chark, Michael Gallup, Russell Gage, Zach Pascal, or Mike Williams. Getting 1 of these guys would be considered a win for the Steelers in the WR corps. I don’t hate the idea of getting Chris Godwin this year to use him next year when he is healthy either. Get some depth at WR and press on.
Looking at the defense, there’s not a whole lotta depth at DT, but the Steelers should make a splash there anyway, this defense has held them in pretty much every game. With questions at QB, that has to be the same mindset going into the off-season, preserve the defense. Their DE is fine, so let’s add some splash at DT, LB, and secondary. They should try to retain Joe Haden. Having 1 or 2 elite players at each level for the Steelers on the defensive side would be awesome for them. As far as free agency, make that the plan of action and roll.
The rest of the issues (by that I mean the offense) of the Steelers offseason needs has to be addressed in the draft. Luckily for them, other than the secondary, this draft seems way more offensively favored than defensively. Let’s see how they should draft here. For the Steelers, the more they can draft, the better for them. Instead of getting the best OL talent on the board, I’d like for them to get more talent in multiple places. If they can trade down here at 20, they should. Get some more mid-round picks and get more bang for your buck. If they don’t trade down, it becomes the best OL available for the Steelers. Whether it be Charles Cross, Tyler Linderbaum, Trevor Penning, Nicholas Petit-Frere, or whoever. Pick the best one and move on. As mentioned, moving down would be ideal here, but if they have to choose, whoever is the best OL available, let’s roll with that option.
Don’t worry guys, I haven’t forgotten about the QB position, I don’t believe there are many franchise QBs in this draft, but it’s vital for the Steelers don’t overreach for one just because it is a need. Trust me, as a Raiders fan, I know a thing or two about overreaching and the Steelers do NOT need to in this draft for a QB. However, it is a need, a big one. The 2nd round would be the time to draft a QB. There is no 1st round QBs in this draft. Teams will still draft 1 in the first round and that is their choice, but the value isn’t there. For the Steelers, this is where you let the options drop to you and let the answer come to you. In the 2nd round, I have to think either Matt Corral, Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, or Desmond Ridder drops to you in the 2nd round. The Steelers should draft their QB in that order. The higher up on the list the better. That way you are trying to address the need at QB but not overreaching and taking care of that OL too. That’s why I like trading down for the Steelers here, get more picks to get OL AND a QB for better value later on. In the 3rd round, there is solid guard depth here. I think that’s where the Steelers should go. There’s a considerable drop-off after Kenyon Green is off the board. Zion Johnson is probably the next best guard, but after that, there could be discussions for the next best guard. For me, I like Ed Ingram here if he’s still on the board. That would put 2 of their top 3 picks for OL and get a QB in the middle of that. That helps address the offense tremendously. Broken record, but the more picks the better, so trade down in the 1st, please!
The Steelers have seemingly always been competitive, with so many questions on the OL and at QB, that might be in jeopardy. Keyword: Might. I am a full believer in defense wins games or at least keeps you in them. Blake Bortles was in the playoffs in 2017 just because the Jaguars’ defense was that good, that could be a similar situation for the Steelers. Time will tell, the defense is disgusting and should be feared on that side. How Pittsburgh addresses the Steelers offseason needs, especially the offensive issues will be how well the Steelers do in 2022.