For several years, partially due to no fault of their own, the Steelers philosophy of offensive line building was “plug and patch.” The Steelers went from five years from 2005 to 2010 without using a premium pick on offensive line.
- And during that span they ended in two Super Bowls with undrafted rookie free agents starting on their offensive line.
The Steelers reacted by drafting
- Maurkice Pouncey, center, in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft
- Marcus Gilbert, tackle in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft
- David DeCastro, guard, in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft
- Mike Adams, tackle, in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft
- For a brief spell the line improved, and the Steelers, dare we say, had the look of a Super Bowl contender.
And by the time the Steelers headed to Baltimore for a late season show down, Pouncey was playing guard, Doug Legursky was playing center, Kelvin Beachum was starting it was musical chairs on the offensive line, a tune Steelers Nation got oh too familiar with in 2008, 2010, and 2011.
All of this goes to show you that the offensive line remains a need for the Steelers in the 2013 Draft. Willie Colon is gone. Doug Legursky may not be brought back, and Marcus Gilbert has some people worried.
- Is offensive line the most pressing draft priority for the Steelers?
But if a quality tackle or guard falls to the Steelers in the 2nd or 3rd that they expected to be gone and has a much higher grade than everyone else on the board, the Steelers would be foolish to ignore him.
The Mike Tomlin era has made one lesson abundantly clear:
- You can never have enough quality offensive lineman.