Pittsburgh Steelers Team Needs
By: Jason Chernofsky
I think the Burress loss was one of the most overlooked offseason moves. They are clearly lacking a big target. Heath Miller at TE has done a great job in the endzone so far, but they also could use an improvement at WR, regardless of size. Ward is his same great self, and despite turning 30 this offseason, he will be fine as a starting WR for at least a few more years. Randle-El has been a bit disappointing as a 2nd WR, and he is a free agent this offseason. He makes a great slot receiver, but I don't know about him starting. Depth here is thin as well, and Quincy Morgan/Cedrick Wilson aren't going to show the potential we once thought that they had, so a guy like Miami of Ohio's Martin Nance would be a great pick in round 1, or maybe 2 if he fell. Other options include Mike Hass from Oregon State, Hank Baskett of New Mexico, and Demetrius Williams of Oregon, all round 2-4 options.
I love Jerome Bettis, but the fact is, he's starting to show that he's 33. Duce Staley has looked pretty good when he's played, but that's been rare over his two years as a Steeler, and as for Willie Parker, his grand start has worn off a bit, and despite not playing poorly, I don't know if he can be a feature back. He could be a good option for a two-RB system, which seems to be what the Steelers are most comfortable using. As he is a smaller RB, a bigger back, such as USC's LenDale White in round 1, or Michael Bush of Louisville, DonTrell Moore of New Mexico, or Mike Bell of Arizona would all be solid options in round 2 or later.
Polamalu has been great, and is looking like a star, but Chris Hope hasn't been the same. He has by no means been bad, but the fact is, his contract runs out this offseason, and the Steelers front office doesn't seem too convinced that he should be their starter in the future. LaRon Landry (LSU) or Michael Huff (Texas) would be good round 1 options, and Marcus Demps (San Diego State), Daniel Bullocks (Nebraska), or Marcus Hudson (NC State) would all be good late Day 1, or Day 2 options.
Jeff Harting is aging, and has been showing it this season. He's fallen from last year's Pro Bowl season, and due to being slated to receive an outrageous 4 million dollars next season, he will likely be cut this offseason. Greg Eslinger from Minnesota or Florida's Mike Degory seem like good options in round 2 or 3, while Ryan Cook of New Mexico is rising up boards and could warrant as high as a 3rd rounder at this point.
Some may disagree with this, but they could use a backup quarterback of the future. Big Ben has been great, but when he is out, they are a worse team. That will always be the case, but they can be less worse if they get a future backup on Day 2. It depends mainly on who's available, but Toledo's Bruce Gradkowski, Oregon's Kellen Clemens, and UAB's Darrell Hackney are all late Day 1/early Day 2 options that would make solid backups. As for later in Day 2, Erik Meyer of Eastern Washington and Josh Betts (who backed up Big Ben at Miami of Ohio), would both work as well.
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