The Pittsburgh Steelers faltered in 2021 due in part to poor offensive line play and a diminishing Quarterback. The same things that derailed their 2020 season hence the need to have a plan for the Steelers’ top draft targets. The Steelers finished with the 21st ranked scoring offense (according to ESPN). Good enough for a 9-7-1 record and a playoff berth.
Reaching the playoffs is an accomplishment no team should take for granted. Losing 42-21 to the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild card game, soured the experience. Heading into this offseason the Steelers’ top draft targets will be addressing the offensive line and finding their QB of the future.
Who Are The Steelers Targeting At The NFL Combine?
Building via the draft has been the mantra around steel town from the beginning. The saying “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” applies to the formula Pittsburgh has successfully used to build a consistent contender. A year ago the front office hit home runs with the selections of Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth. I expect that trend to continue with this upcoming draft. Here are three players I believe the Steelers have their sights on!
#1. Kenny Pickett QB – University Of Pittsburgh
Pickett is arguably the best QB in this upcoming draft. At 6’3 and 220 pounds, Pickett is an athletic QB with great arm strength. He possesses good pocket awareness and exceptional touch on his deep ball. In his final season at Pitt, he racked up 4,319 yards passing with 42 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
With The Steelers having the 20th pick in the draft, they might be forced to trade up to acquire Pickett. Drafting Kenny would infuse more youth into a young and talented Steelers offense. If they’re looking to find Big Ben’s long-term replacement, why not take a swing at Kenny Pickett?
#2. Tyler Linderbaum C – Iowa
Drafting an offensive lineman is a must assuming the front office elects to sign a veteran at QB. Tyler Linderbaum is the ideal choice. He is an absolute rock at the center position. Linderbaum dominated the Big Ten competition in 2021 and should have an immediate impact at the next level.
Tyler has great speed and the ability to get out and block at the second level in the run game. In the passing game, he’s even better! His quickness and excellent body control are elite and allow him to succeed. Drafting Linderbaum would do wonders for the Steelers run and pass game.
#3. Charles Cross OT – Mississippi State
Charles Cross has all the ability to be an NFL starting left tackle with some development. Cross at 6’5 tall and 310 pounds he has exceptional feet and quickness. Playing a lot of wide split shotgun sets at Mississippi State, Cross should transition to an offense like Pittsburgh’s seamlessly.
Drafting Cross would provide the Steelers with a player that stylistically fits the offense OC Matt Canada ran in 2021. This would be a long-term investment that should solidity the left tackle position in steel town!