The Pittsburgh Steelers
fell short of their goals last season, and instead of hoisting their seventh Lombardi trophy, they ended up watching the other team from Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Eagles
, defeat the New England Patriots
with their backup quarterback to win their first Super Bowl.
Even though they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars
in the Divisional round of the playoffs, the Steelers are still considered one of the best teams in the AFC, which is why the Steelers odds to win Super Bowl next season are very high.
The most frustrating thing about last season for the Steelers ad their fans is that they had one of the most talented rosters in the league and one of the most talented teams they have had in a long time, but they couldn’t get the job done while the Eagles, who finished 7-9 the previous season, finished with the best record in the NFL and won the Super Bowl despite losing their starting quarterback at the end of the season.
This year, the Steelers will try to live up to their expectations, but they also have a few needs they will need to address before the next season comes around.
One of the needs the Steelers will have to address is their depth at the wide receiver position.
On paper, the Steelers have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL with Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Martavis Bryant. However, they don’t have much depth beyond that.
The Steelers will need to replace the departed Eli Rodgers, who filled in as the fourth receiver last season. Since they currently have three capable receivers, the Steelers won’t spend a lot of money trying to sign a free agent, and will likely look to add more receivers through the upcoming draft.
Two players the Steelers will likely give a second look are former University of Pittsburgh receivers Quadree Henderson and Jester Weah.
With the Steelers sharing the same stadium as the Panthers, they have had more opportunities to see what the former Panthers can do up close, which will give them an advantage over the other NFL teams. The fact that either one or both receivers could go undrafted will also make it easier for the Steelers, who can bring them in as undrafted free agents.
Both Henderson and Weah showed a lot of promise at Pittsburgh, and would have a great chance to develop as backups on the Steelers, just like Brown did as a rookie.
With Brown, Smith-Schuster and Bryant penciled in as starters, Henderson and Weah would come in as backups without any pressure on them. If they impress the coaching staff, they will find some way to integrate them on offense even if it is just a few plays per game. If the starting receivers stay healthy, they won’t get a lot of playing time, but if one or more of the starters get injured, they will be able to get significant playing time, which will help with their development.
The team could decide not to use their late draft picks on receivers if Eli Rodgers is fully recovered from the ACL injury he suffered because they would rather have someone familiar with their playbook than start over with someone new.