though the Steelers are sitting with a 6-2 record, there are still plenty of
improvements that the Steelers need to make going into the offseason. The team
is not perfect, but has come a long way, especially in terms of defense. While
the salary cap won’t be overflowing, the Steelers should have some money to
make improvements. Important to note in this simulation Ben remains for another
season while Harrison and Gay call it quits.
looking at the overall free agency period, the Steelers don’t have a lot of
moves that they need to make. The only notable cut is Coty Sensenbach, as he is
given a chance to lock on to another team since he doesn’t have a spot on the
Steelers. That isn’t the only move though, as the Steelers orchestrate a trade
with the Chiefs. The Steelers send Martavis Bryant and Mike Mitchell for the
Chiefs third round pick. The Chiefs are still lacking a true receiver, as Hill
is a great gadget option, but lacks other receivers around him. Bryant, while
troubled, would provide a major upgrade in a weak core. Meanwhile, this draft
class is weak at receiver, so Bryant gives the automatic upgrade they are
looking for. On top of that, Mitchell would provide a good option next to
Berry. He’s a savvy veteran who should have a good role on the Chiefs.
in to departures and signings, I feel like the Steelers will not tag Bell
again. While the offense has been almost completely dependent on the run game,
Bell’s asking price is outrageous considering the position he plays and his
track history. I don’t blame him for seeking the big money contract, but the
Steelers shouldn’t be the ones to give it to him. Likewise, there aren’t any
other in house free agents that should be brought back. Moats is the only
candidate that could return, but I feel like the Steelers will roll the dice on
the younger options. RFA and that sort will all more than likely receive their
individual tenders. Looking at the free agent pool, there aren’t too many
players the Steelers should target. In order to fill some depth spots, I have
the Steelers signing De’Anthony Thomas to a vet minimum contract. While he
isn’t in the style that Bryant is, he provides solid depth and an electric
option as a returner. Alfred Morris on the vet minimum would provide the
Steelers with a complementary piece to Connor. Finally, while not a replacement
for Mitchell, Walt Aikens on a vet
minimum deal would bring good depth and someone to challenge for depth
in the secondary. After the additions and subtractions, the Steelers biggest
needs go as follows: QB, S, WR, RB, CB, OLB.
Round 1: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming- The more time
passes, the more I think Allen will be the QB for the Steelers. The biggest
need is arguably QB, as Ben will retire soon. Allen has all of the physical
tools, but he has struggled against upper level competition. Looking at the
team around him, its not hard to see why he has struggled. In Pittsburgh, he
will be granted time to develop while also being put into a good offense. He
will be given a great opportunity to succeed in Pittsburgh.
Round 2: Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M- Davis is
developing into a solid run support safety, but there is no good coverage
safety on this roster. Watts has good run instincts, but he is a playmaker at
safety. While his straight-line speed and man to man skills are a little in
question, he would have a decent role his rookie season before taking over for
Wilcox the following season.
Round 3 (From KC): Sione Teuhema, OLB, Southeast
Louisiana- OLB isn’t the biggest need, but Teuhema looks like he could develop
into a really good player. He has good size and technique, and could eventually
be a starter on this team. Dupree hasn’t become the star everyone thought he
was destined to be, and he may not earn a second contract with the Steelers.
You can never too many pass rushers, and Teuhema should be a quality player.
Round 3: David Sills, WR, West Virginia- This is the
Bryant replacement, as Sills has great size and good speed. On top of that, he
is a monster in the red zone, and could become a touchdown machine for whoever
throws the ball to him. He won’t need to start right away, but he could be a
key complimentary piece as a rookie.
Round 5 (From SF): Martez Carter, RB, Grambling St.-
Think of Carter as a bigger Tarik Cohen. A solid runner with a lot of athletic
ability and good pass catching skills to boot, Carter could be an immediate
role player with the Steelers. With Bell gone, Connor is set to take on the
role of lead back, but adding a player like Carter changes the dynamic of the
backfield. Ben loves checking down to the RB, and while Connor has decent
hands, Carter could have an immediate impact in that role. He would form a
good, young thunder and lightning duo with Connor.
Round 5: DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia- Baker has an all
around solid skill set. He isn’t extremely flashy or athletic, but he is sound
in coverage. His ceiling is as a number two CB, but if he develops to that,
that is all the Steelers need. They won’t need him year one, has Burns and
Haden have those spots locked up. Sutton seems destined for the slot with
Hilton, and Allen is a work in progress. This pick keeps good depth in the
secondary with the hopes of developing an eventual starter.
Round 7 (From NYG): Kahlil McKenzie, NT, Tennessee-
Steeler fans will likely see former Tennessee NT Dan McCullers leave this
offseason, as he has never been able to utilize his massive size to his
advantage. While Hargrave is quickly becoming a great NT, having good depth
along with someone who can stuff the run is needed. McKenzie has good size and strength,
but has been injured. He has good potential and could be a quality rotation
option and goal line run stuffer with the Steelers.
Round 7: Nyles Morgan, ILB, Notre Dame- I was really
tempted to slot another QB here, but with Dobbs being picked last year, there
isn’t room for another one. Instead, the Steelers nab an ILB in a good ILB
class. He should fall due to this, but Morgan is having a sound season.
Williams has locked down the other ILB spot, but depth and special team’s
bodies are needed. He is a competitive player and could make the roster as a
special team gunner his rookie season.