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Draft Talk

Does the Steelers recent free agency targets expose their draft plans?

The Steelers have been making moves in free agency, including activities that didn’t pan out, and are telling of their draft plans.

On the surface, it would appear they’re trying to cover all gaps, but underneath, it may show their attention is on other positions not often discussed during the mock draft season.

This week we learned that the Steelers targeted Cowboys middle linebacker Leighton Vander Esch to replace Devin Bush, who hit the open market himself. Late last night, we shockingly found out the Steelers were one of three teams trying to sign tackle Orlando Brown Jr., which we learned from his agent Micheal Portner.

Brown specifically signed with the Bengals last night on a four-year deal worth $64 million. He’s a sure starting tackle who plays on the left side, which most fans would say is the Steelers offensive line’s weakest link.

The attempt is telling because they made an effort to sign a guy who is more than starter quality which points to the head coach Mike Tomlin and the team having an interest in other positions. Positions such as cornerback, specifically where the team could have a realistic chance at three of the top corners in the draft.

  • Christian Gonzalez
  • Devon Witherspoon
  • Joey Porter Jr.

All targets would be a great pairing to recently signed cornerback Patrick Peterson who the Steelers signed to a two-year deal on Monday. It suggests the Steelers wanted to address the offensive line in free agency, searching for a vet instead of going all in during the draft.

That said, if Gonzalez, Witherspoon, and Porter Jr. are all gone when they’re on the clock, you better believe all bets are off.

Justin Otstott
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