Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Preview; 2016 Schedule Released
With the NFL Draft set to begin on April 28th, let’s take a look at this year’s Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Preview and schedule.
Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Preview
Top Needs: Cornerback, Safety, Offensive Guard, Outside Linebacker
Draft Picks: Round 1 (25), Round 2 (58), Round 3 (89), Round 4 (123), Round 6 (220), Round 7 (229), (246)
The Pittsburgh Steelers look to rebound from a second round playoff exit last year to make a Super Bowl push this year. On paper, they definitely have the offense to do so. Putting up points was never the issue in 2015. The issue was preventing the opposition from putting up a ton of points, as well. With Big Ben, Leveon Bell and Antonio Brown, the Steelers may have the best trifecta in the NFL. The biggest need on this team is cornerback as they have not had a quality corner since the retirement of Ike Taylor.
With Jalen Ramsey and Vernon Hargreaves almost locks to be off the board by the time the Steelers select in the first round, two guys are left as possible first round picks. Eli Apple out of Ohio State and William Jackson II from Houston, both have been projected in the first round so it comes down to who the Steelers like better. Jackson has been climbing boards in recent weeks and looks to move himself into that 3rd corner taken. He’s a tough athletic corner who can come in and add some instant stability to an awful Steelers’ pass defense.
A guard could be looked at early to replace the struggling Ramon Foster. Cody Whitehair looks to be the top guard available and gone before the Steelers pick in the second round, but a couple other names to look for are Christian Westerman from Arizona State and Joe Dahl from Washington State. Both guys enjoyed very successful collegiate careers and can be day one starters at guard. Adding one of these guys will instantly upgrade the line and provide lanes for Bell as well as keeping Big Ben healthy, which has been an issue as of recent.
The next couple rounds can bring some more defense for the Steelers. A safety would not be a bad option, as well as possibly a defensive tackle. Jeremy Cash, a safety from Duke, is a guy that is flying under the radar and could be a big steal. He is a tone setter who makes his presence known every time he brings down a ball carrier. He can bring some much needed playmaking ability to this Steelers’ backfield. When you think of the Steelers you think of hard-hitting defensive guys and Cash brings just that to the table.
Losing Martavius Bryant for the season will definitely leave a mark on the receiving corps even having one of the league’s best in Antonio Brown. Don’t be surprised if the Steelers use a later round pick on a receiver. A late round guy that can be the pick is Tajae Sharp from Massachusetts. He owns almost every record in Massachusetts receiving history. He has average speed, however, and is far too lean to win most 50/50 balls. Nonetheless, he has some upside and can potentially come in and battle for some reps.
Pittsburgh Steelers’ Schedule
Week 1: Sept. 12, at Washington Redskins (Mon), 7:10
Week 2: Sept. 18, Cincinnati Bengals, 1
Week 3: Sept. 25, at Philadelphia Eagles, 4:25
Week 4: Oct. 2, Kansas City Chiefs, 8:30
Week 5: Oct. 9, New York Jets, 1
Week 6: Oct. 16, at Miami Dolphins, 1
Week 7: Oct. 23, New England Patriots, 4:25
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: Nov. 6, at Baltimore Ravens, 1
Week 10: Nov. 13, Dallas Cowboys, 4:25
Week 11: Nov. 20, at Cleveland Browns, 1
Week 12: Nov. 24, at Indianapolis Colts (Thu), 8:30
Week 13: Dec. 4, New York Giants, 4:25
Week 14: Dec. 11, at Buffalo Bills, 1
Week 15: Dec. 18, at Cincinnati Bengals*, 8:30
Week 16: Dec. 25, Baltimore Ravens, 4:30
Week 17: Jan. 1, Cleveland Browns, 1
(Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Preview)