Open Rants by Steeler17

Steelers 2019 Draft
Published at 10/25/2018
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Looking ahead at the 2019 NFL offseason and draft, the Steelers should be in line to build up their already talented yet inconsistent team. The needs seem to constantly shift, but with the benching of Artie Burns at CB and the hit or miss play of the defense, it seems like defense should again be the focus of the team. That being said, I could see a hole opening up (explored in this simulation) as OT Marcus Gilbert could be traded this offseason. Of the entire Oline, he is the most inconstant player (partially due to injuries), and with Chukes Okafor being taken in the 3rd round, it seems like a change is forth coming. Looking back, I’m using the Eugene Monroe trade from a few years ago to come up with the compensation of a 4th and 5th round pick for Gilbert. That leaves the Steelers with 9 total selections in the draft. Without any further ado, Pittsburgh, you’re on the clock.

Round 1: Jachai Polite, 3-4OLB, Florida

While the Steelers have a seemingly solid OLB in Watt, and the inconsistent yet ok starter in Dupree for another year, there isn’t much behind either of them. Chickallo is a free agent, and unless he is willing to play for the minimum, he could be shown the door. Considering the rest of the future depth players (Ola and Adams) have yet to take a regular season snap, a high round pick could compliment both of the starters while also making Dupree expendable once his contract expires. Polite seems like a great fit as an OLB. He has plus athleticism and a wide array of pass rushing moves. His production hasn’t amounted to much before this season but looks primed to be a first rounder.

Round 2: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

As stated earlier, Artie Burn has lost his starting spot, and while he could return to form next season, a CB needs to be taken earlier. Even with Haden playing well, he is apt to get injured and has an expensive contract. Murphy is on the shorter end, but he can cover extremely well. Ideally he can lock one side of the field down while Haden patrols the other.

Round 3: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

While McDonald and James have played well for the Steelers, James seems likely to hit free agency next year. The price for TE’s is inflated, so he will likely be out of their price range. Assuming he leaves, the need for a number two TE will be relatively high. Smith has turned it on recently for Alabama and could play his way into day two consideration. He is a good receiving threat and would serve as a nice compliment to McDonald.

Round 4:  Khalil Hodge, ILB/OLB, Buffalo

Hodge is everything the Steelers look for in an ILB: he has good athleticism, great size, and is super productive. He can also rush the passer at times. Depth is sorely needed at ILB, and Hodge should be able to develop into a good rotational piece for the team.

Round 4: Drew Richmond, OT, Tennessee 

With Gilbert being traded here, another swing tackle is going to have to be drafted to provide depth. Richmond looks like a solid backup, who should see some snaps in a reserve role.

Round 5: Diontae Johnson, WR, Toledo

Even with the top three receivers seemingly set, depth is going to be needed. Johnson seems like a solid player, a jack of all traits almost.

Round 6: Kingsley Keke, 3-4DE, Texas A&M

The Steelers need more depth along the Dline. Alualu is a free agent along with Walton, leaving the overall depth really thin. Keke should be a solid number four and eventually work his way up into the defensive rotation.

Round 6: Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma

Anderson had some hype entering the season, but he again suffered a season ending injury. That along with durability concerns make him a risk, but the Steelers wouldn’t have to use him as a feature back. He should be able to provide solid depth and be a good change of pace back.

Round 7: Olive Sagapolu, NT, Wisconsin

The Steelers opt for more Dline depth, this time taking a NT candidate. While McCullers has played surprisingly well, he faced stiff competition to get there. The Steelers may also not want to pay him more than the minimum, thus making a backup NT a larger need.

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