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Post-Draft Early Bold Predictions for the 2024 Steelers

It’s no secret that the Steelers have been making a plethora of moves this off-season. From trades to cuts to free agent signings, the roster is definitely getting a revamp under GM Omar Khan. The latest moves have of course come through the NFL draft and undrafted free agent signings. While there is still plenty of off-season left and things could change, it’s not too early to look towards the season and think about how all these moves might impact it, right? Here are some knee-jerk reactions and predictions just a few weeks following the draft.


  1. Troy Fautanu and Zach Frazier will be starters by Week 4
    Historically, Pittsburgh tends to sit their rookies for a while before thrusting them into starting roles. With that being said, these two are talented enough and will provide enough of an impact that we will likely see them on the field sooner rather than later. Taking into account the release of last year’s starting center Mason Cole and the fact that Fautanu was drafted to eventually take over Dan Moore Jr.’s starting spot, it makes this prediction all the more likely.
  2. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren will combine for over 2,500 all-purpose yards
    With the drafting of three linemen in the first four rounds, the intentions here are clear: pound the ball on the ground and protect Russell Wilson. Last season, Harris and Warren combined for 2,359 all-purpose yards, with Najee surpassing the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the third straight season. The new offensive line, if Frazier and Fautanu meet expectations, will easily allow for a combined 2,500 all-purpose yards between the two backs. In fact, it would not be a shock for both of them to be 1,000-yard rushers this season.
  3. George Pickens will have a breakout year as WR1
    Pickens is a guy who is full of talent and makes the craziest catches look easy, even during practice. Unfortunately, he has been playing for a team who has struggled tremendously on offense since he was drafted. He likely will see more targets and be called upon more since Diontae Johnson was traded earlier this off-season. With a completely new quarterback room and the additions to the offensive line, Pickens has another 1,000 yard season here and scores at least 10 touchdowns.
  4. The Steelers are no longer weak at inside linebacker
    Last season, the inside linebacker position was plagued by injuries, and it was a position in question prior to free agency. Omar Khan and company answered the call on this one. With the addition of Patrick Queen and the drafting of Payton Wilson, the Steelers have turned this weakness into a strength. If Wilson can stay healthy and Queen can provide even mediocre mentorship to him, the Steelers will be set at inside linebacker for years to come.
  5. The secondary will be Pittsburgh’s defensive Achilles’ heel
    Based upon his rookie campaign, Joey Porter, Jr. is a stud at cornerback who will only get better with more experience. Donte Jackson, who was brought in from Carolina through the Diontae Johnson trade, has proven to be a dependable NFL starter. Minkah Fitzpatrick needs no introduction and is a tremendously talented all-pro safety. However, the depth at cornerback is concerning, and it is unknown how Deshon Eliot will fit into Teryl Austin’s defense. If the front seven can stay healthy and provide quarterback pressures like they are capable of, the defense likely performs well. However, if the pass rush is late, especially against teams with a deep and talented receiving corps, there is a potential for struggle.


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