For the first half of the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers seemed like the biggest threats to the Chiefs in the AFC, but starting in week 13 they were one of the most disappointing teams in the league.
Injuries hurt their defense somewhat, but they were still a top 2 defense up until their playoff loss.
Their problems are nearly all on the offensive side of the ball.
Big Ben was abysmal at the end of the season, their line can not run block to their save their lives, and their running back duo is probably the slowest and least dynamic in the entire NFL.
Also, Chase Claypool and Juju Smith Schuster are locker room distractions and the rest of their pass catchers have major drop issues.
None the less, with a good draft and an upgrade at quarterback, Pittsburgh is not far off from super bowl contention.
1. Offensive Line
I assume the three best tackles in this year’s draft, Penei Sewell, Christian Darrisaw, and Rashawn Slater, will be gone by the 24th selection so the Steelers will have a few different directions they could opt for in their first-round spot.
Wyatt Davis was a phenomenal guard for Ohio State, leading the way for some very talented running backs like JK Dobbins and Trey Sermon.
He does have injury concerns which may push him down draft boards in which case Pittsburgh could opt for Alabama’s tried and true left tackle, Alex Leatherwood, or USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker.
Either way, considering Big Ben is most likely coming back for one last year because his contract is not up until after next season, improved offensive line play is a must.
Don't even try…
— USC Football (@USC_FB) June 22, 2020
2. Running Back
I would heavily advise against any team from selecting a running back in the first round, but the Steelers should definitely consider going for one in the second or third round.
Javonte Williams (UNC) or Travis Etienne (Clemson) could both be available in the middle of the second-round if the Steelers want to trade up with their second-rounder or trade down with their first selection.
Their options at tailback as of now are so limited; James Connor is set to hit free agency this year and Benny Snell is only a short-yardage back.
Bringing a homerun hitter like Ettiene would add an entirely new dimension to this offense.
Every time Ettiene touches the ball he has a chance to score.
Travis Etienne has 57 rushing TDs since 2018
Most in college football 😳 pic.twitter.com/fXXLuivzKU
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) February 5, 2021
3. Slot Cornerback
While they do have Joe Haden and Steven Nelson on the outside, they are lacking a dominant slot corner.
Asante Samuel Jr., out of Florida State would be a perfect fit.
He has great competitiveness and solid ball skills.
With the rest of the Pittsburgh defense to lean on, it would make it much easier for him to learn and develop.