After months of waiting and excitements, one of the biggest events in American football is nearly upon us — the 2017 NFL draft — where superstar players all started prior to entering the league. All of the 32 NFL franchises make up to seven rounds’ worth of rookie acquisitions in order to build and maintain competitive rosters for seasons to come.
As one of the top seeders in the previous season and being the AFC’s runner-up team, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be drafting late in each round. But selecting a prospect player late this year’s draft process should not be a setback; this is a deep draft class and many of the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ positional needs shingle with some of 2017 NFL Draft class’ biggest talents.
With Thursday night’s first-rounder draft selection process not long from now, here’s everything you need to know about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ draft situation. The selections, the team’s needs, trends – they’re all here in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2017 NFL Draft preview.
The Pittsburgh Steelers currently possess a total of eight draft selections should there’s no trade will happen — one in each round plus an additional third-rounder by way of a compensatory pick.
Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 NFL Draft Picks Orders;
Round 1: Pick 30 — T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
Round 2: Pick 30 (62nd overall) — JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
Round 3: Pick 30 (94th overall) — Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee
Round 3: Pick 41 (105th overall, compensatory) — James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh
Round 4: Pick 29 (136th overall) — Josh Dobbs, QB, Steelers
Round 5: Pick 30 (175th overall) — Brian Allen, DB, Utah
Round 6: Pick 30 (216th overall) — Colin Holba, LS, Louisville
Round 7: Pick 30 (251st overall) — Keion Adams, DE, Western Michigan
As long as the Pittsburgh do not trade up, down or out of any of these selections and make their eight picks at these orders, their 2017 NFL draft acquisitions is expected to cost the franchise around $5,831,017 in salary cap space for this year.
With all that being said, that salary-cap estimate only matters in all eight rookie players making the 53-man roster. Cutting or placing any of these rookies on the practice squad would change the organizations overall salary-cap space impressions.
While the Pittsburgh Steelers are more often a best-player-available drafting franchise, that tradition and beliefs often associated with crystal clear needs and this year’s draft process should be no different.
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ biggest deficiency and should need to address this year are at edge-rusher, cornerback, tight end, wide receiver, safety and running back.
At the edge-rusher position, the Pitts need to prep for the consequent departures of linebackers James Harrison and Arthur Moats. At cornerback, a position the Steelers has invested heavy draft resources as of the previous years, still remains a need as the club hardly tries to spot and acquire a third starter to put on the field alongside Artie Burns and Ross Cockrell.
There are speculations the Steelers could be drafting a wide receiver this year; there are few sure-handed choices behind Antonio Brown and Eli Rogers, most especially as the Pittsburgh still have no idea whether suspended receiver Martavis Bryant will be reinstated in time for the upcoming season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers still don’t have a reliable backup running back to starter star Le’Veon Bell. This appears want a high draft to get a young talented rusher at the No. 2 spot, as the team will have numerous mid-round opportunities to land versatile running back.