Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger joined the DVE Morning Show this week and had a thought on how Kevin Colbert might attack the NFL draft.
“I still think they’ll address the offense," said Roethlisberger, "We’ve gone defense in our top picks for a long time now and it showed. I’m excited about that defense. We’ll see what they decide when it comes to the draft.”
I would bet good money that Roethlisberger is right. The Steelers obviously don't have a first round pick, but the 49th slot is a good spot to draft a wide receiver or a running back.
It makes sense to take a wideout as the Steelers have three young receivers who have been inconsistent. James Washington is fine, but far from a game breaker. Diontae Johnson is just scratching the surface, but had fumbling problems in year one. JuJu Smith-Schuster was injured last year, and was not as effective without his quarterback.
Also consider this: JuJu's contract expires at the end of the year. James Conner becomes a free agent at the end of this season.
They want to insulate Ben with talent and make him comfortable over the next two years. If Ben declines, the drop off doesn’t have to be too steep if the Steelers surround him with a good supporting cast on offense.
Pittsburgh could decide to go with a running back with their first pick. That would make a lot of sense. The Steelers rushed for just 90 yards per game in each of the last two seasons. They averaged just 3.7 yards per carry last year, good for 30th in the NFL.
Simply put, the offense stunk. They averaged 18 points per game. The team needs to focus its draft resources on helping that side of the ball.
The Steelers defense was very good last season and should be similar in 2020.
Ben’s lobbying and I understand that. But he's also right. The Steelers will go offense early in the draft.