Pittsburgh Steelers: 2021 NFL Draft positional needs

Ben Roethlisberger and Maurkice Pouncey of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports)
Ben Roethlisberger and Maurkice Pouncey of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers EDGE Bud Dupree
Pittsburgh Steelers OLB Bud Dupree. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL Draft needs


The Pittsburgh Steelers had a historical defensive year in 2020 and have some guys that are a part of that defense who might go elsewhere this off-season. The biggest fish on the market out of Pittsburgh has to be Bud Dupree. Dupree and TJ Watt were one of the best duos in the league this season off the edge, which could lead to a big payday for the pass rusher out of Kentucky.

Having 8 sacks this season before tearing his ACL, the Steelers need depth and potentially a new starter at that position and could grab one in the 2021 NFL Draft.

After Dupree went down with that ACL injury midway through the season the Steelers showed they need depth at that position. Rookie Alex Highsmith came in and showed production in place of Dupree, but not much production behind those guys.

If Dupree is to go off in free agency it will be because of limited cap space the Steelers have this off-season and the need to sign arguably Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt next off-season. Don’t be surprised to see Pittsburgh take a pass rusher on day two of the 2021 NFL Draft to support the cast they already have for them this season.

3. Inside Linebacker

Steelers fans are still trying to recover from losing star inside backer Ryan Shazier after his tragic career-ending injury in 2017. They also moved up in the 2019 Draft to select the Michigan man Devin Bush to fill that need and before getting hurt against the Eagles was really coming into his own.

With the Pittsburgh Steelers playing in a 3-4 scheme they need depth at that second inside linebacker position when Bush comes back this season.

Once Bush did go out the Steelers found a nice replacement in Robert Spillane. Spillane really made a name for himself in the Titans game making that goal-line stand against the freak of nature that is Derrick Henry. Spillane ended up catching the injury bug this season along with many other Steelers leading to a carousel of different guys in that defense at inside linebacker.

The Steelers ended up trading for Jets inside backer Avery Williamson to fill that void and also moved Marcus Allen from safety to fill a need at the inside linebacker position.

Both Williamson and Spillane will be free agents this season and will go into the market once the season ends. Williamson seemed like a filler for the Steelers defense once Bush went out and it is still up in the air for Spillane.

The other starting inside linebacker for the Steelers is Vince Williams who isn’t getting any younger by the day and makes inside linebacker a need in the 2021 NFL draft for the middle of the defense.