Whoever we get in FA or the draft at DB won't play next year...We did give big running plays...As I motioned. We gave up 7 +20 which was 8th best in NFL. However, the 5 of +40 was the worst in over 2 decades. 5th worst in NFL this year. 2 were by Qbs & 3 by RBs. Easy to remember them...Week 3 Forte (50), Week 4 Peterson (60), Week 8 Pryor (93), & Week 14 Thomas (55) Tannehil (4. The Steelers have given up 1 or None over the last decade of runs over 40. You take away those 5 plays & the Steelers rushing defense is 5th best in the NFL.
Will a casual fan blame a NT for them? You aren't putting them on the NT from a football scheme. The Steelers were in Cover 1 or Cover 2 on all of them so Clark was free. He missed 3 of those tackles although he wasn't the only one who missed a tackle. The Steelers got caught in an ILB X stunt against a draw with Forte & Peterson followed up by the Bad News Bears theme playing as we watched the Steelers trying to tackle. Pryor's run needs to explanation...It was well documented...But the NT did his job on that play. The Steelers were in nickel for the two Dolphins runs. You can look at all the highlights for them. What was the common ground of all of them? Missed tackles but more importantly...Lack of speed to chase. When William Gay is the only DB closing on a RB in chase...Your secondary is old & slow. It took Taylor 40 yards to run down Tannehill. The depleted athleticism in the secondary was the absolute beast that was revealed in 2013 & the biggest contributor to plays given up over 40 yards. Drafting Nix in the 1st doesn't fix that. It just adds insult to injury when there is no guarantee he starts day 1 & he may play 40% of the defensive snaps. Now...Fix the secondary before draft & that pick becomes more appealing & plausible. I see Nix helping out the run defense. I see Ellis & Carrethers helping it out too. The Steelers are going to have to do something in the secondary in FA before I entertain the thought of Nix in the 1st.
NTs will be available in later rounds too. That could be said for any position that wants to be argued. Nix is the Top NT. That's it. He is 1st round talent. Is he the 15th best player in this draft? Not in my opinion. I would grade him 20-25 with a clean medical. If he comes into the combine over 350 pounds & doesn't put up low to mid 30's on bench... he falls outside that.
I can almost guarantee that
Nix will start on day 1.. no doubt about it.
TE and WR's... pfft.. you can get those in the 3rd, 4th and 5th round.