Steelers Rumored to Address Pass Rushers in Upcoming 2015 Draft
It is nothing close to a secret, the Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t had a dominant defense for a few years now, with 2014 marking a particularly pedestrian season. Even with a well earned (short lived) playoff spot the once-feared defense finished 18th in yards per game (368) and points per game (23) and just 26th in sacks (33).
“For the second consecutive year, the Steelers finished in the bottom third in the NFL in sacks with 33, their fewest in 26 years,” Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote. “But unlike 2013, the quarterback hurries/pressure took a significant downward turn, which has become a cause for concern.
One can only wonder is the mutual releasing of now former defensive coordinator, Dick LeBeau be what the organization needed to stir up the pot? I myself happen to believe this to be so. Because over the past two seasons the defense has proven the “old & slow” description to be true.
The Steelers have several veterans set to hit the open market this offseason. Jason Worilds, Arthur Moats and James Harrison will all be unrestricted free agents while Brett Keisel may retire. Fortunately for the Steelers, the upcoming NFL draft offers plenty of quality pass-rushing options.
“ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said this draft will be a deep one for pass rusher, and the Steelers might need more than a few of them given their uncertainty at outside linebacker,” ESPN’s Scott Brown wrote. “‘That’s probably the strongest position in this draft, those combo guys that can get after the quarterback,’ Kiper said during a recent conference call…The Steelers pick No. 22 overall and probably won’t get a chance to select Nebraska’s Randy Gregory or Florida’s Dante Fowler Jr. unless they trade up in the first round.
“Kentucky’s Bud Dupree could be available later in the first round. Kiper said Utah’s Nate Orchard, Louisville’s Lorenzo Maldin and Arkansas’ Trey Flowers are edge rushers who could be available in the second or third round.”
Either way it goes, the pass rushing was somewhat lackluster this past season and desperately needs to be addressed in my book. Even with the recent signing of CFL’s Shawn Lemon, the Pittsburgh Steelers have to regain their defensive dominance through the upcoming draft.