James Walker of ESPN takes a look at the needs of the AFC North today and looks at the upcoming April Draft as well. Here is what he has to say about the Steelers needs:
Just one year removed from winning a Super Bowl, the Steelers do not have a lot of major needs. But a 9-7 season exposed some weaknesses with Pittsburgh, and cornerback is probably the biggest. William Gay was not ready to make the jump to a full-time starter in 2009. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, there are not a lot of corners with first-round grades thus far, although that may change after the combine and individual workouts.
The status of Pro Bowl nose tackle and pending free agent Casey Hampton is another issue. The Steelers could use the franchise tag to keep Hampton for at least another year while they try to find a replacement. Defensive tackle Dan Williams from the University of Tennessee would be an enticing draft option in the first round. Depth on the offensive line is also needed.
I don’t think there’s any doubt that corner is the teams biggest need at this point. If and when the team decides it’s going to do whatever it takes to keep Hampton in the middle, the next thing they had better do is find a way to upgrade the corner spot. A healthy Troy Polamalu in 2010 will make the secondary better, no doubt, but the team needs better corners, and they should look at free agency and the draft for that right away.