Stuck in between playoff contention and rebuilding, the Pittsburgh Steelers cannot afford to make costly mistakes in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Pittsburgh Steelers finished the 2019 regular season with an 8-8 record. With Ben Roethlisberger returning from injured reserve, Pittsburgh should play better this coming season. However, a successful 2020 NFL Draft could make a significant difference for the Steelers.
The Steelers do not own a first-round selection and only pick six times in the upcoming NFL Draft. With the team’s championship window almost closed, assuming it hasn’t already shut, Pittsburgh cannot afford to make these silly mistakes in the draft.
Doing so would set them back a great deal given Roethlisberger’s age and the overall state of the franchise.
5. Drafting a cornerback early
I’m still not over the Artie Burns selection. That one hurt. While Pittsburgh’s secondary is thriving now with an All-Pro safety and two Pro Bowl-caliber corners, Burns delayed the defense’s development and became the team’s latest draft bust.
The team also whiffed on Senquez Golson and Doran Grant in 2015, wasting second- and fourth-round picks. Cameron Sutton and Justin Layne, both third-round selections, still play for the Steelers. However, Sutton is just a depth player. Layne could head that way as well after a disappointing rookie season.
Pittsburgh’s draft struggles aren’t the primary issue here. For the first time in what feels like a decade, the Steelers do not immediately need a cornerback. Joe Haden made the Pro Bowl last year. Steven Nelson might have played even better and Mike Hilton is one of the best nickel corners in the league.
With the cornerback core finally filled with reliable, skilled veterans, Pittsburgh can remove all of the corners from their draft board. Heck, wouldn’t it be a nice surprise if Layne took a step forward in his development this year too?