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Ben Roethlisberger reveals Steelers’ intentions in the NFL Draft

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger might be biased, but he thinks the team’s front office will prioritize offensive needs in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Roethlisberger said years of drafting defensive players has paid dividends for the Steelers recently, which is why he envisions the focus will shift to the offensive side of the ball this season (via Curt Popejoy of USA TODAY):

“I still think they’ll address the offense,” said Roethlisberger, “We’ve gone defense in our top picks for a long time now and it showed. I’m excited about that defense. We’ll see what they decide when it comes to the draft.”

The Steelers have indeed leaned heavily on defensive players with many of their recent top picks. In fact, the last time the Steelers took an offensive player in the first round was in 2012, when they selected David DeCastro.

Of course, that does not account for notable second-round picks like Le’Veon Bell and JuJu Smith-Schuster, but the priority has clearly been upgrading the defensive unit.

Pittsburgh also made an in-season splash on the defensive side of the football by acquiring All-Pro free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. That move, paired with the strong draft history, resulted in the Steelers defense ranking third in terms of defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) in 2019, per Football Outsiders.

Unfortunately, the Steelers do not have a first-round pick this year, as they traded it to the Miami Dolphins in order to acquire Fitzpatrick.

Still, there is plenty of depth in this draft, particularly at the wide receiver position, which is where general manager Kevin Colbert and co. might look to go in the second round.