Early thinking had the Pittsburgh Steelers more than likely drafting an offensive tackle in the first round.
With two games to go, I’m not so sure.
Mike Tomlin and company appear to be satisfied if not happy with what has transpired in recent weeks at the tackle position.
Kelvin Beachum has done a very nice job at left tackle throughout the season despite not always looking the part of a prototypical anchor of the offensive line.
Marcus Gilbert is a guy I owe an apology too because I’ve ripped him and his toughness many times but he matured a lot this year and has done a good job at right tackle. Mike Adams is a wild-card of course. Benched in the early season, he appears to have gotten the message and has shown improvement and more consistency when he plays.
The vibe I keep getting, and I felt it again from Tomlin during his Tuesday presser, is that the team seems content with these three guys right now. Assuming the team finishes 8-8, 7-9 or 6-10, they’ll be drafting in the area of about 8-20 give or take a few spots.
That said, will the Steelers still look for an offensive tackle in the first round? I personally don’t think so. There are needs at wide receiver (assuming Emmanuel Sanders leaves), tight end, the defensive line and the secondary.
Let’s also consider the shaky record of Kevin Colbert when it comes to drafting linemen as well. Although David DeCastro looks like he’ll eventually be worthy of his first round pedigree, there are plenty of misses by Colbert.
I of course could be very wrong here and it wouldn’t be the first time, but I’m sensing a shift in the Steelers’ thinking right now. This will change as the draft is 6 months out, but I’ll be surprised if they choose a tackle with their first pick.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 630pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.