The Steelers will be in the market for offensive linemen this off-season. Whether that ends up being through free agency or the draft, Pittsburgh has work to do upfront to upgrade on some spots. Their ability to do so through the draft took a bit of a hit when Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu went back to school.
On Friday, the free agency market took a hit. Browns offensive tackle Jack Conklin and star Packers interior lineman Elgton Jenkins both inked deals that will keep them with their teams long-term. Both deals put a damper on the free agency class, especially in Jenkins’s case, as he had an argument to be the best lineman on the market.
So, where does that leave the market for a team like the Steelers, who will be out hunting for offensive linemen? At tackle, the crown jewel of the class will still be Orlando Brown Jr. of the Chiefs. He is expected to command a hefty contract, however. Mike McGlinchey from San Francisco should also be a popular player with lots of traction. However, the class as a whole looks relatively weak.
Outside of those two, George Fant, Cam Erving, Andre Dillard, Brandon Parker, Eric Fisher, Isaiah Wynn, Riley Reiff, Chris Hubbard, and Kaleb McGary headline the class of tackles. You can find a low-end starter in there, but for a team looking to truly upgrade, is there actually an opening right now? Probably not, though 25-year-old Jawaan Taylor from the Jaguars is an intriguing player.
Looking at the tackle class, the youth and upside factor are there. Of course, there can always be players that are released that will strengthen this group and make more sense. But as of now, it’s muddied. The interior offensive line class, however, is solid. Isaac Seumalo is a steady, sturdy force that could be a quality addition to teams. Justin Pugh and Rodger Saffold are still quality veterans. Even players like Nate Davis, Oday Aboushi, Dalton Risner, and Nick Gates can fit in as quality additions at guard.
So, could the Steelers address it still in free agency? Probably, though where they are positioned, the draft seems like the safer, more adept option at this stage. When it comes time to make a move, the Steelers should have plenty of cap space and need to make a move in a deep guard class in free agency, especially.