In the wake of the Steelers matching the Patriots offer sheet on Emmanuel Sanders and with the NFL Draft looming, pundits across the sports media world are left wondering what’s next for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here is what a few reports have been posting about our Black & Gold:
Pro Football Talk has broken down the Steelers needs that are expected to be addressed with the upcoming draft. Most notably running back. The Steelers do not have a franchise RB on the roster right now and the time is ripe for them to pick one up similar to how they were in need of a franchise QB around the time of the ’04 draft. No, there are no Jerome Bettis’ in this year’s draft, but the time is right for the Steelers to find their next star tailback. Ben Roethlisberger is in the prime of his career, and for the first time in years the offensive line is not a priority or concern as they are the youngest group of the entire team. They also note that with the signing of veteran backup QB Bruce Gradkowski and the fact that Charlie Batch or Byron Leftwich are still unsigned; the Steelers might be interested in picking up a late-round quarterback to be developed over the next few seasons as Ben’s backup.
John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review blames Tomlin’s drafts for the Steelers position right now. The fact that the entire 2008 draft class is now gone makes that a pretty credible argument, but Tomlin’s 2010 draft class still remains strong with Pouncey, Antonio Brown, Jason Worilds, and Jonathan Dwyer still contributing to the team in big ways. Harris also critique’s last year’s draft class which included players who are quite out of character for the Steelers organization. Even before their recent incidents Chris Rainey and Alameda Ta’amu both had previous incidents during their college careers the Steelers should have been weary of.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains how the Steelers decision to match the offer on Sanders could end up costing them in the long run. The fact that the Steelers initially only tendered Sanders a third-round offer rather than a costlier offer tended to indicate that they didn’t think Sanders was worth that much. Now they’ve contradicted themselves by matching the $2.5 million offer and must now try to sign Sanders to a deal most likely comparable to Antonio Brown’s deal in order for this move to pay out in the long run.
What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? What are the Steelers needs now that the Sanders mess is over with for the moment?