When it comes to that all important position of offensive tackle, new Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak has his work in sorting out the Steelers situation. But even before he gets the chance to apply much of his craft, his assessment of the Steelers situation on paper likely will impact Pittsburgh’s plans for the 2014 NFL Draft.
As such Steel Curtain Rising turns its attention to tackle in his assessment of the Steelers draft needs.
At offensive tackle the Steelers currently have Marcus Gilbert and Kelvin Beachum, with 2012’s second round pick Mike Adams also in play. Guy Whimper is also a back up at tackle.
- Simply stated, Beachum saved the Steelers season by taking over at right tackle, as Mike Adams looked like a junior varsity wrestler suddenly thrust into an NCAA tournament.
But the just as the Steelers haven’t given up on Adams, they’re not 100% sold on Gilbert, whose performance at right tackle has never been strong enough to end speculation that the Steelers would like to replace him. Gilbert also has injury issues and is heading into the final year of his contract.
A year ago the conventional wisdom was that with the Steelers investing heavily in premium picks in the 2010, 2011, and 2012 NFL Drafts, they could take a pass on offensive line.
- In 2013 the Steelers re-learned the lesson, the hard way, that you can never have enough good offensive lineman.
In short, the Steelers situation at tackle comes down to “ifs.” If Munchak can rehabilitate Adams. If Munchak can get some consistency out of Gilbert. If Beachum can sustain his success. IF Guy Wimper isn’t called upon too often.
Those are a lot of “ifs.”
- And when an evaluation of an NFL team at a set position area boils down to a lot of ifs it’s time to draft someone.
The Steelers need at offensive tackle in the 2014 NFL Draft can best be described as moderate.
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