NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 7 Needs
1. OT - 4.5
2. CB - 3.0
3. S - 2.0
4. DT - 2.0
5. DE - 2.0
6. OG - 1.5
7. TE - 1.5
Position by Position Breakdown
Quarterback - Roethlisberger's play and attitude down the stretch likely has them re-committed to him long-term. Leftwich and Batch are both under contract for another year and a solid backups. The question here is whether the team commits to Dixon for another year, or the potential of them bringing in a new QB via the draft in the late rounds. NEED: 1.0
Running Back - Mendenhall had a solid year and Redman was solid in spots. MOore is a nice third down back and receiver, but this is a position that using another late round pick on a similar player wouldn't hurt. NEED: 1.0
Fullback - The team has dropped the use of a fullback in favor of more 3 and 4-wide sets and making use of a 2nd TE. And when they do need a lead blocker, David Johnson is adequate. NEED: 0.0
Wide Receiver - Wallace is a solid No. 1 option, and while Ward is declining, he's still a solid possession wideout. They like what Sanders and Browns showed down the stretch and in conjunction to the return of Randle El, they are solid here. NEED: 0.5
Tight End - Miller is locked up long-term. They have to decide whether to bring back Spaeth, who is a good blocker, but they could find a better option. NEED: 1.5
Offensive Tackle - They like the combo of Starks and Colon, but both are coming off injuries. Jon Scott and Adams had their moments as replacements. Scott probably won't be back as a free agent, but Adams should stick around for another year. But they want to upgrade this position with a bookend left tackle. That could move Starks back to the right side and move Colon inside to guard. NEED: 4.5
Offensive Guard - Kemoeatu is a solid blocker, and Ramon Foster got better as the year wore on. They could tinker with moving Colon here if they can upgrade on the outside. Essex should be back as a reserve since he provides nice depth. They might draft another backup, but it's not a big issue since they are less worried about this position than the tackles. NEED: 1.5
Center - Pouncey solidified this spot, and Legursky was a valuable depth option. NEED: 0.0
Defensive Tackle - Hampton still has a few more years left in the tank. They have to decide whether to keep Hoke, a free agent. Hoke is a solid depth piece, but will be 35, and the time may be right to start to develop a younger option here. NEED: 2.0
Defensive End - Hood showed nice pass rush skills down the stretch as the replacement for Smith. Smith has one year left on his deal, and it would be smart to bring in another solid young option via the draft to add depth and insurance for the future. NEED: 2.0
Linebacker - Woodley is a free agent and should be a high priority to keep. Traditionally the Steelers tend to let their OLBs walk, but Worilds isn't far enough along in his development to take that chance. Farrior doesn't have a lot of time left and 2011 could easily be his last. So they might start to think about drafting another backup to groom there. NEED: 1.0
Cornerback - Taylor is a free agent they want to keep. But he'll be 31 this year, and they probably won't spend too much to keep him. But they definitely want to upgrade their depth here, and a high pick wouldn't be out of the question. NEED: 3.0
Safety - Polamalu's durability has begun to be a concern. Mundy is a nice backup, but may not be the caliber of playmaker they wish to have here. Clark is a solid complement, but adding another option via the draft would help a ton. NEED: 2.0
Kicker - Suisham was capable for the second half of the year, but is a free agent and they probably won't lock him up long-term. At least they will bring in someone to push him. NEED: 1.0
Punter - Sepulveda is a big-legged kicker that is a free agent and should get a long-term deal, but they might be concerned by the fact that injuries have limited in multiple years. So bringing back Kapinos as well could make sense. NEED: 0.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.