Steelers Must Look for Offense in Round One

Can Mike Tomlin and the Steelers rally for the remainder of the season?When most people think the ‘Pittsburgh Steelers,’ they usually think about the black and gold, the logo on one side of the helmet and toughness. Much of that toughness starts with the defense which for 40 years has been one of the most consistently good ones in the NFL.

With that said, the Steelers cannot afford to use their 17th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft in April on a defensive player and I can point out a few reasons why.

First, the defense has seen the bulk of attention salary-wise in recent years. The defense was the 4th highest paid unit in the NFL last year while the offense ranked 29th. In terms of dollar amounts, the defense earned roughly $20 million dollars more than the offense. My point? It’s time to ‘invest’ in the offense.

Secondly, Ben Roethlisberger begins his tenth season in Pittsburgh and it’s high time this team get him some ample weapons to use while he is still in his prime years. Mike Wallace is gone and so too may be Emmanuel Sanders. I credit the organization for investing in selections to shore up the offensive line in front of Roethlisberger, but now the pieces need to be selected that can allow Roethlisberger and the offense to flourish before it’s too late.

Lastly, there is a much greater chance that a defensive player selected with the 17th pick with see the field in 2013 far less than an offensive player. This is nothing new. This has been fairly typically under Dick LeBeau as he has never been one to trust rookies or even second and third year guys for that matter. Obviously there are some exceptions to this ‘rule,’ but by and large LeBeau just doesn’t play rookies that much.

Obviously much of what the Steelers do with the 17th pick will be almost entirely on what happens with the 16 picks ahead of them. With that said, I still believe players like Tavon Austin, Keenan Allen and Terrance Williams will be available.

As I wrote yesterday, the current line-up the Steelers could put on the field will not strike fear into any defense. They must address this and the pick cannot be on the sidelines ‘learning’ for a year. The Steelers need a high-quality, game-changing guy sooner rather than later.

Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.

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5 comments on “Steelers Must Look for Offense in Round One

  1. This draft doesn’t have a lot of flashy stars and good players will fall. I originally was hoping for an ILB but they can be had later. Tyler Eifert & Tavon Austin looked like sure bets but Austin should go earlier ans The Steelers signed two TE in free agency. For the record I’d still take Eifert.
    Next thought is at WR and if they’re going to draft a Wr in the first please trade down & acquire and additional pick(s).
    I’d love to trade with San Fran for #34,63 and 93. We can get Wr,lb,safety,Rb & QB in rds 2 & 3. If they really want Tyler Brah or EJ Manuel.

    • Eifert was a guy we did discuss a lot more than I had led on. I would have no problem if he were the choice at 17. I’m really not sure what the infatuation is with drafting a QB this year. I realize Ben is almost always guaranteed to miss a game or two each year, but I think Gradkowski is fine for spot duty. This draft is so important for Tomlin and the Steelers. I just hate the thought of us wasting a pick on a guy who might not ever see the field. If we go this direction, I like Bray for our current system.

      • I would definitely like to see Eifert at pick # 17 … but if Warmack falls, just like Decastro did for us last year,, Steelers should definitely pull the trigger and grab him. Most Mock Drafts have Warmack going to the Rams at pick # 16. Warmack would be the final piece needed to make Pittsburgh’s offensive line one of the best in the NFL, if everyone stays healthy! Warmack specializes and flourishes in the Run Game . Steelers Running Backs would ‘FINALLY ‘ have a fair chance to show off their talents and make the offense a Dangerous threat to their opponents!

    • Thanks for reading Jim… I like Lacy a lot but not in the first round. I think if he is there in round two it wil be very tough to pass him by but my gut tells me the Steelers are going to draft a RB later rather than sooner.

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