By Cian Fahey
The Pittsburgh Steelers have very few needs at this point in the off-season. The draft addressed the most pivotal of those with new offensive linemen, another body to play nose tackle and an additional running back.
Just because the primary needs have been filled, that does not mean that the Steelers roster is in perfect shape now. The best front offices in the league will continue to improve their rosters in any way possible until it is no longer a legitimate possibility.
All of the Steelers issues now reside below the top tier of the depth chart. At least, all of their fixable issues do. There is no proven kicker waiting for the Steelers to pick up the phone or a star nose tackle who can come in and fill Casey Hampton\’s massive shoes.
However, the Steelers can still bring in a new face or two to address the holes cutting through the latter parts of the depth chart. Two of those areas of concern are on the defensive line. In a perfect world, the Steelers will bring in another nose tackle and defensive end to compete for roster spots for the regular season.
I have already pointed out that Aubrayo Franklin could provide the Steelers some veteran depth at defensive tackle. Franklin can\’t play defensive end however and the Steelers can\’t afford to move Steve McLendon from the middle.
Instead, they could look to Wallace Gilberry.
Formerly with the Kansas City Chiefs, Gilberry is a 3-4 defensive end who remains on the free market despite being in the prime of his career. At 27, he was hoping to attract some suitors this year as a situational pass rushing specialist.
Last year, Gilberry notched 2.5 sacks in very limited time as a 3-4 defensive end. The Chiefs have outstanding run stuffers Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey as their starters with Dontari Poe added to the lineup. That has made Gilberry available.
In his four seasons he has started three games but has been part of the rotation for the past three years in Kansas City. During that time he notched 14 sacks from the defensive end position. In comparison, Brett Keisel has 20.5 sacks during his 10 years playing 3-4 end.
Gilberry obviously isn\’t as stout against the run as Keisel is, but he does have the size to benefit from coaching if the Steelers want to try to groom him. At worst, he comes in as the fourth defensive end and gives the team a more proven option than Corbin Bryant.
At this stage of the year, the big names are long gone off the board, but you never know what to expect from players in new situations and it\’s not like Gilberry has struggled during his NFL career. He\’s just never really taken off or turned into the every down player teams seek.
You can follow Cian on Twitter at @Cianaf