The 2019 NFL Draft is this month, which means that The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be looked at heading into this year’s draft including what their needs are and who they could be targeting. The Pittsburgh Steelers will be the 19th team evaluated.
The Steelers barely missed the playoffs with a 9-6-1 record. They had a lot of drama last season and the team will look different in 2019, but head coach Mike Tomlin has been retained.
Pittsburgh had a top 10 offense in the league that averaged 26.6 points per game. They passed for the second most yards in the league, as Ben Roethlisberger had a good season. Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster created a good one-two punch at the wide receiver position, helping out Roethlisberger. Le’Veon Bell chose not to suit up for the Steelers, but James Conner filled in well with 973 rushing yards in 13 games played. They did however rank 31st in the NFL for rushing yards. The offensive line played tremendously at points last season. Brown and tackle Marcus Gilbert left the team via trades, while Bell left in free agency.
The defense was tied for 16th in points allowed last season, giving up 22.5 points per game. The front three of their 3-4 defense is one of the best in football with Cameron Heyward, Javon Hargrave and Stephon Tuitt. T.J. Watt is a good edge rusher, while Bud Dupree has his ups and downs. They helped generate 52 sacks last season to make a solid pass rush. Vince Williams was decent at inside linebacker, as the Steelers have tried to cope without Ryan Shazier. Joe Haden and rookie Terrell Edmunds were leaders on an unimpressive secondary. Mark Barron was signed to play inside linebacker, while Steven Nelson was added at cornerback to help the defense improve.
2019 NFL Draft Picks
The Steelers have 10 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.
First Round (one pick): No. 20
Second Round (one pick): No. 52
Third Round (two picks): No. 66, No. 83
Fourth Round (one pick): No. 122
Fifth Round (one pick): No. 141
Sixth Round (three picks): No. 175, No. 192, No. 207
Seventh Round (one pick): No. 219
Wide Receiver- With Brown gone, the Steelers still have a few talented receivers, but could use another.
Tight End- Vance McDonald is an ok tight end, but the offense could be more electrifying with a better tight end.
Offensive Tackle- If Matt Feiler can’t fill in for Gilbert, the Steelers will need to address the right tackle spot.
Edge Rusher- Dupree has shown flashes of good play, but also has struggled at times. With a more consistent pass rusher opposite of Watt, the Steelers can get after the quarterback even more.
Inside Linebacker- Shazier’s injury has caused a need for an inside linebacker. Williams is decent and Barron could play well this season, but both are not great linebackers.
Cornerback- Nelson is a good signing to put across from Haden, but Haden is aging and Artie Burns has had his fair share of struggles.
2019 NFL Draft Targets
Pick No. 20: Deandre Baker, Cornerback, Georgia
The Steelers hardly ever pick based on need and rather take who they think is the best player available, even if it is drastically different from what the media thinks should be the pick. Pittsburgh has a lot of decent corners, but no great ones. Baker can be the next great cornerback for the Steelers with his good athleticism and experience in the SEC.
Pick No. 52: Dalton Risner, Offensive Tackle, Kansas State
After trading Gilbert to the Cardinals, the Steelers could use a right tackle. Risner has excellent experience at the position, but also has the versatility to move if the Steelers see a better fit for him at another spot on the line. Risner is all over draft boards with some having him as high as the first round and others having him in the third round.
Pick No. 66: Mack Wilson, Linebacker, Alabama
Wilson is another prospect that the media is split on. Some have him going in the first, while others have him going in the third. If he falls to the Steelers in the third round, they need to run to the podium to select him. He fills a need at inside linebacker and has experience playing in a 3-4 defense in college at Alabama.
Pick No. 83: Miles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame
Brown leaving gives them a small void at wide receiver. Smith-Schuster is great and Washington was just drafted last season, but they will likely take a wide receiver at some point in the 2019 NFL Draft. Boykin could complement Smith-Schuster well, as Boykin is a bigger target, but still has good athleticism.