Steelers Offseason Update: Draft Special

After months of speculation, waiting and arguing over who the Steelers would draft, Draft Day finally happened this past weekend.  How did the Steelers do? Did anything else happen?  Let’s answer that by asking some questions:

1. Didn’t Kevin Colbert say they had no intention of trading Martavis Bryant?

He sure did.  But the Steelers did trade him on Thursday to the Oakland Raiders for their third-round pick, the 79th pick in this year’s draft.

So what happened? Colbert said “As we’ve stated throughout the winter, we weren’t interested in trading Martavis. Teams were calling us. Really, when they called, they weren’t offering anything that would interest us in trading a player of his caliber. When it got to the third round, that was something that was interesting for us and we pulled the trigger on that deal.

Was it a good deal? Considering Bryant wasn’t going to be with the team and with his drug history, getting a third round pick was impressive.

Doesn’t it leave a huge hole in the offense?  Who will replace him?   About that…

2. Why do the Steelers keep drafting wide receivers in the second round?

Last year it was JuJu Smith-Schuster and this year the Steelers drafted another wide receiver in James Washington from Oklahoma State.  This was necessary because of the Martavis Bryant trade.

Washington doesn’t have blazing speed but is a great deep threat.  He has long arms and is good at getting a jump ball.  With Bryant gone, he could start right away.

3. Why didn’t they draft a linebacker to replace Ryan Shazier???

The biggest need going into the draft was an inside linebacker to replace Ryan Shazier.  Instead they drafted safety Terrell Edmunds from Virginia Tech. What??  There were four inside linebacker options in the first round but they were all gone by the time the Steelers drafted. Edmunds wasn’t considered a first rounder by the ‘experts’.

So what will the Steelers do now?  How are they going to replace Shazier? Most likely they’ll do it by playing a lot of nickel, dime, or 3-safety looks.  Edmunds and free agent acquisition Morgan Burnett can play safety or linebacker.  They’ll give the Steelers a lot of versatility.

4. Why did the Steelers draft a quarterback?  Didn’t they draft one last year?

Last year the Steelers drafted Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs in the fourth round and this year drafted Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph.   Dobbs was considered a project and probably isn’t in the Steelers’ long term plans.  Rudolph was expected to be drafted in the first round so getting him in the third round was a steal.

Even though Ben Roethlisberger said he plans to play three more seasons, the Steelers were expected to draft a quarterback this year to groom as his replacement.  Will Ben be okay with this choice? Will this be another Brett Favre-Aaron Rodgers situation?


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