Anytime you head into a draft as a conscientious fan, you want your team to address areas of need. Sure there are times when a talented player is just too good to pass up but by and large, the team has to address the areas of the most need.
This past weekend the Pittsburgh Steelers went after players who will hopefully fill “need” spots such as outside linebacker and cornerback.
If there was any one complaint, I would ask why the offensive line wasn’t addressed more?
The easy answer is that the overall talent in this year’s draft on the offensive front was weak and that’s not debatable. Still, if any of us think the Steelers’ offensive line is settled heading into 2015 then we are mistaken.
What we know for sure is that the team is solid at center with Maurkice Pouncey, at right guard with David DeCastro and presumably with Marcus Gilbert at right tackle. The problem with him though is that he clearly took a step back in 2014.
The other certainty is Kelvin Beachum but I’m convinced his future does not sit at left tackle. If I’ve been told once, I’ve been told a thousand times that the Steelers would really love to move Beachum down to left guard and that’s for two reasons.
One, as much as we love Ramon Foster, he just isn’t what offensive line coach Mike Munchak wants at that spot. Secondly, the front office doesn’t want to pay Beachum “left tackle money.” It’s not that Beachum hasn’t been a godsend in many ways but let’s be realistic; he’s just not what you want guarding Ben Roethlisberger’s blind side.
If you need an example of this then look no further than last season’s Wild-Card loss to the Ravens. Beachum and Foster were both out-manned on several occasions which led to pressure and sacks.
In a perfect world, Mike Adams would come into camp in the best shape of his life and ready to tear off heads of opposing defenders. In the real world however, that doesn’t seem very likely now does it?
Therefore, I think the Steelers are resigned to the fact that Beachum will be their guy at left tackle again in 2015.
While it’s normal for the Steelers to bring in a nice contingent of undrafted free agent rookies, this new group contains three guards, an offensive tackle and a center. Should we expect a replacement for Foster out of this group? It’s doubtful but that doesn’t mean you don’t look.
This offensive line improved last season but there is still a long way to go and Mike Tomlin and Mike Munchak know it. We need to accept it as well.