The reality is the draft isn't going to solve all the issues the Steelers have, even if we get some good prospects there is no guarantee they make an impact their first year. What the Steelers have to hope for is their current players step up and play better.
Last years picks had a chance to get playing time on account of so many injuries, that may help us moving forward to next season. Players like Adams,DeCastro, Beachum especially, but we also need a conditioned and healthy Woodley as well as our Wr's playing like they did prior to this season.
Our front seven and special teams needs addressed, plus we don't know which players we'll lose and we need replacements for those guys. OLB for instance, will we have JH? If not Jason Worlids has to fill the void, the James Harrisons of the world don't come around very often. Some here mentioned ILB but we already have a decent one in Foote, he had a decent year and you don't let that experience walk out the door and rely on a rookie or Spence. I've been harping on NT, it all starts up front and thats the position I would prefer the Steelers to address, not just a good NT but a dominate one.
I believe the transition started at the end of 2011, and its going to continue. We have some really good core players in place that could speed up the process, but we need the picks of the past few drafts to fill the voids, and hope we get some impact players in this years draft.
We have the best QB in our division so there is hope we can rebound, the Bengals are a young team and look to get better too so the competition increases. Cleveland is a young team as well with a decent defense but they need WR's and a QB that can get them the ball, the jury is still out whether Brandon Weeden is their guy. Baltimore will have to begin a transition period, they have some guys getting up there, Ray is retiring, Reed isn't far behind him so right there alone will impact their defense.
There could be a silver lining from this 2012 season, in that our rookies got playing time, more than any year I can remember. That could help us next year knowing we have guys that played and started games. At the very least it makes our depth better but also gives them a shot to compete for a starters position.
This will be our best draft postion in a long while, its imperative we get it right so we can at least get one or two that can take a starters position.
Pouncey did it, but he was an exception. Overall, staying healthy and limit injuries next season is probably the best medicine for the Steelers, but it wouldn't hurt to hit the jack pot in April.