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The Pittsburgh Steelers fanbase seems to be moving heavily toward consensus in terms of the team’s top NFL draft need. And that consensus is Pittsburgh needs to draft a running back in the first round.
But maybe running back isn’t the problem. Not all of it anyway. NFL analytics expert Warren Sharp shared some interesting information as it relates to the Steelers run blocking over the past four seasons.
Here is how the Steelers run blocking has ranked over the last four years according to Sharp.
You can watch these rankings dwindle as players got older and their play fell off. Specifically guys like center Maurkice Pouncey, guard Ramon Foster and tackle Alejandro Villanueva. These guys played just well enough to convince the front office didn’t need to dedicate serious draft resources to their eventual replacements.
Last season we saw the Steelers basically give up on the run game and it was easy to point fingers at the coaches and even the running backs. Some even blamed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. But it didn’t take much to see just how inept the offensive line was.
This time around the Steelers have a near-ideal draft to land two starting offensive linemen who can help bring this group back to prominence.