The Pittsburgh Steelers continued their roundup of team free agents by signing OL Guy Whimper to a one year deal on Monday. The retention of Whimper means that the Steelers have the deepest offensive line that they’ve had in quite some time. But is this line any good?
The roster of lineman as it stands:
OT Kelvin Beachum
OT Mike Adams
OT Marcus Gilbert
OT Guy Whimper
OG David DeCastro
OG Ramon Foster
OG David Snow
OG Eric Olsen
OG Nik Embernate
OG Christopher Hubbard
C Maurkice Pouncey
C Cody Wallace
It’s a deep class of linemen, which in terms of quantity, this is a good thing since the Steelers are always desperate to put big bodies in front of defenders with each passing injury. But what about quality? The Steelers will only dress as many as they see fit, which is usually around seven to eight a game. Are there eight quality linemen on that list? Is this list enough?
Former Tennessee Titan head coach Mike Munchak is the new line coach, and let’s all take a moment and pray to whatever god you’ve got in your corner that he can get this motley crew of linemen to block effectively in both running and passing games. If he can make a dent in the old bus of mediocrity and make these linemen a force to be reckoned with, the Steelers offense should improve by leaps and bounds in 2014. But would the Steelers take a gamble on that notion and pass up potential rookie linemen in the draft this year? The Steelers have drafted seven offensive linemen in the last four drafts. They didn’t draft any linemen last year, so they actually drafted seven in three drafts. Can and should the Steelers skip drafting a lineman this time around?
The Steelers have several other big needs that must be addressed early – WR, CB, TE, ILB. The draft isn’t hugely deep when it comes to lineman, so the Steelers may actually go with one early and leave other deep positions like WR go later. That’s certainly not my preference, but don’t be shocked if the team goes with a lineman in Rd 2 or Rd 3 if they get a compensatory pick. More than likely they will pick the BPA of linemen after Round 4 or even Round 5. I would be shocked if they don’t select any.
This line is deep with bodies for now, but they are far from being set, and will need to draft one or two this year and hope that Munchak can mold them into more than just a speed bump for pursuing defenders.