State of the Steelers: Linebacker

WorildsLinebacker is easily the hardest position on the team to make any sort of predictions going into 2014.

I see Jason Worilds as the first domino, that could set off a chain reaction depending on whether he re-signs with Pittsburgh or goes elsewhere.

I’ve already discussed the situation at ILB, and how there seems to be no clear cut way to go there.

To summarize what I wrote there. I’d expect Foote to be the starter initially, but Sean Spence and Vince Williams will have something to say in camp, and I think they very well could beat him out. Drafting someone like CJ Mosley is also an option.

Sean Spence is a guy I’m excited about seeing, and although I was disappointed at the time… Him going to IR last season was probably for the best. Spence should be at full strength once OTA’s begin in the Spring. The question will be is that full strength good enough?

Ultimately I see a 3-way competition between the guys we have for the spot over a draft pick. Whoever doesn’t win that spot will provide solid depth with Terrence Garvin also in there.

Now, moving on to the outside. I don’t need to go over the situations with Worilds, and the declining play of LaMarr Woodley.

If Worilds signs, then I see Woodley going… and being cut, not traded. I’ve had plenty of people try to tell me otherwise, but nobody is giving up even a late round pick for an injury prone linebacker, that hasn’t made much of an impact even when healthy.

If Worilds does leave, then Woodley is here for at least another year. There’s just no depth at the position. I’d then expect an early round pick (top 3) on a pass rusher.

Obviously, this all means that Jarvis Jones will be a starter next season as well, unless they somehow figure out how to keep all three guys.

Really, regardless of what happens, expect to see an OLB selected at some point. Chris Carter has had plenty of time in the system and has seen the field quite a bit for a #4 guy, and just not shown much.

With pass rushers seeing high dollar amounts on the open market, this is one spot I’d say we definitely fill via the draft, and not free agency.

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