Spots On The 2014 Version Of The Steelers Offensive Line Depth Chart Filling Up Quick

Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have re-signed Cody Wallace to a three-year deal, the team will enter the draft with potentially seven offensive line roster spots already spoken for. Being as head coach Mike Tomlin normally likes to carry eight or nine offensive linemen on the 53 man roster, that leaves at most two spots available at this time.

With left guard Ramon Foster currently being the elder statesman on the offensive line, one would think the team really needs to think about grooming his replacement. While Wallace can play guard, his natural and best position is center. Outside of him, Nik Embernate and Chris Hubbard figure to be the prime candidates to battle for the spot on the roster that Guy Whimper had last season, as I just can’t see a draft pick being spent on a natural guard this year.

As far as another tackle goes to fill the last perceived open spot on the 53 man roster, that certainly is open for discussion right now and especially being as Marcus Gilbert is entering the final year of his rookie contract. The Steelers invested second round draft picks in both Gilbert and Mike Adams, and new offensive line coach Mike Munchak will be charged with fixing both of them quickly. Kelvin Beachum represented himself well last season at left tackle and until somebody else can dethrone him, it’s his spot for the time being.

There are a lot of you that want the Steelers to draft a tackle in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but I still can’t see that happening with so many needs on the defensive side of the football. However, after previously being pretty sure the Steelers would not draft an offensive linemen at all in May, I’m loosening my stance a bit and now willing to acknowledge that it is fathomable that a tackle might be taken on day two or three, now that safety isn’t a position they have to draft at all, thanks to Mike Mitchell being signed.

Tomlin and Munchak were both recently present for the Michigan Pro Day and while everyone will certainly want to speculate that they were there to see Taylor Lewan, let’s not forget that Michael Schofield very well could have had the eyes of both. He’s a natural right tackle that can play on the left side in a pinch and if needed, he did play some guard during his time at Michigan.

About the Author

Dave Bryan
I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • falconsaftey43

    I could easily see a situation where OT is the best option in RD 1. What if Evans, Gilbert, Dennard, Ebron, Mosley are gone? Do you take a lesser WR when you could get something comparable in RD 2, or do you go with a top 15 worthy OT like Lewan? The Steelers are never rarely in a position to get legitimate top 15 talent, they need to this year.

  • Nolrog

    They should be drafting an OL somewhere in every draft. Not always high, but they should always be looking for better depth players and project type guys who they could build over time (they seem to do this with line backer, but not so much with the OL?)

  • Nolrog

    In that case, maybe you look to trade down. But considering the huge number of holes we have (DE, NT, CB, MILB, depth everywhere, WR, TE, RB) there will be someone available at 15 that fills a need.

  • Nick Williams

    If we could get someone like Richburg from CSU in the third (assuming compensatory pick) I would do it. He is position flexible and can be a long term starter at guard or center. I love pouncey but am starting to get the Woodley vibe from him that we will be paying top dollar to someone to play 6 games

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I am glad to see someone else see’s the problem at TE as I do.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Michael Schofield? Right! Mark that guy down and have a look. Can he be had in the later rounds. I am thinking someone like that. Jack of all trades, master of none. As long as he can be had in round 6 or 7. Why? Too many other needs at this time. It can obviously change before the draft.

  • nicolaisim

    Tomlin is watching Lewis closely.. we still need to draft a mid-late safety.

  • falconsaftey43

    I think trading down could be hard this year given the depth of the draft. by position of ‘need’ for the Steelers I see these as the number of top 15 worth guys.
    WR 2, Watkins and Evans,
    TE 1, Ebron
    OT 3, Robinson, Mattews, Lewan
    DE 0,
    NT 0,
    OLB 2, Mack, Barr
    ILB 2, Mosley, Shazier
    CB 2, Gilbert, Dennard
    That’s 12 total including the 3 OTs and I’m not 100% on taking either ILB there. Now a few QBs will likely be picked which would help, but it’s completely possible that OT is the best option. Personally I’d want WR or CB, but it might not fall that way.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Yup. That’s a pretty good assessment. I would leave the ILB’s out. I also believe that they will use a rotation at ILB and with more the half the plays requiring 5 or 6 DB’s, they may just try to find an inexpensive backup FA.

  • Luke Shabro

    There’s only two ways I’m ok with them taking a tackle in round 1. If Matthews somehow falls to 15 which he won’t or if Mosley, Gilbert, Dennard, Mack, Barr, Evans, Watkins, Ebron and Hageman are all off the board. I’d even consider Kelvin Benjamin before a tackle. I like Taylor Lewan a lot but you hired Munchak for a reason and that reason is to coach up Beachum and “fix” Gilbert and Adams as well as hopefully groom a guy like Embernasty. The defense is in shambles right now and we need young blood to groom quick. We know it takes at least a year if not longer so get them in there now. Trading down is far easier said than done but believe me, I too, would be all about if!

  • mlc43

    I think a couple of OT and a couple of QBs come off of the board before we pick. Maybe….it’s the draft…who knows lol

  • Jason White

    I made up my mind now. I want Ebron in the first. Gives you a number 2 TE and gives Ben that tall receiver that can be lined up across the board creating matchup nightmares. Imagine 2 TE sets with Ebron. Now imagine that in the no huddle offense with the defense’s base package on the field with Ebron being lined up in the slot or out wide.

  • mlc43

    Actually the more I think of it, I’m pretty sure 2 or 3 of each go off the board.

  • falconsaftey43

    ok say all 3 OTs and 3 QBs go. There’s still a good possibility all those guys listed above are gone. Who do you take then? Unfortunately I see a clear line of top end talent that ends right before the Steelers select.

  • mlc43

    It’s a good question. I see QBs Bortles, Bridgewater and Manziel almost certainly gone. I also think that it’s a fair possibility Carr gets taken as well. I also think it’s possible that Robinson, Matthews, Lewan are gone as well. Clowney will be gone for sure. So if that happens that’s 8 picks gone leaving us with 9 or your picks left…I do think it’s possible we land one of the CBs.

  • alex

    yeah, i agree, it really looks like at 15 is gonna be a OT or DE and if we sign Kerrigan id rather trade down if we can

  • mlc43

    Also, it’s hard to say if a team before us might not value a DL like Nix, Jernigan or Donald.

  • Don

    Steelers pick 15th, so at least one of the 12 above will be available if 3 QBs are taken. If only 2 QBs however, then all 12 of these may be gone.

  • falconsaftey43

    I guess I’m just a pessimist. I’m don’t know about all those QBs going. Last year teams seemed to finally learn to wait on QBs if they didn’t like them. I think this years guys are a little better, but not locks for the top end of the 1st. If I was taking QB, I’d only really like Bridgewater in the top of the 1st. 4-3 tackles being taken high could help us out

  • mlc43

    I think Bortles and Bridgewater are an absolute lock to be gone fast. If Carr and Manziel start slipping I could see them slipping a long ways.

  • cencalsteeler

    The Steelers will give Munchak his golden ticket somewhere in the middle rounds.
    Question for you guys. Since Detroit signed a few wrs in fa, does anyone think it’s possible Sammy could drop to 15? I saw he jumped ships and is now advertising his Browns jersey now, but I see the Browns drafting a qb. Thoughts?

  • dgh57

    The only way I see us drafting a OT(with other needs taken care of first)is if they don’t see Beachum as the long term answer at LT and with Gilbert in the final year of his contract they can then move Adams over to RT in 2015 where he belongs. I just don’t see it having to be a 1st rd. draft pick with all the other needs on defense.

  • Callentown

    I believe they HAVE to bring in someone in case Beachum goes down. Currently, there is no one that can man the LT position in a pinch.

    A player like Schofield sounds perfect.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    That scenario could very well be the case with at least two qbs gone and clowney definite in most cases i would say i would go for who i like to draft like fuller/van noy /shazier/bryant dont care about value they will have value to our team needs i would look at the draft like what ever is left at fifteen thats when the draft begns and we have the number one pick

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    But in our case we need basically every position except qb so its pretty much BPA

  • Eric MacLaurin

    It seems like we have enough RT capable players right now. I would only draft a true LT.

  • Jason

    I’d actually prefer Troy Niklas in the 2nd. Dude is 6ft. 6in., and is more comparable to Heath Miller in my opinion.

  • Milliken Steeler

    I honestly see Gilbert not getting a new contract and Mike ending up where he belongs at R/T after this year.

  • dgh57

    I know the Browns need a QB but they may find it to tempting to pass on Watkins so they can put him across from Gordon. A trio of Gordon, Watkins, and Cameron would definitely give opponents something they would have to think about and game plan for.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I wholeheartedly agree! But we are in the minority. I see Heath’s successor, plus someone that can be utilized immediately and be a matchup nightmare in the package you describe.

    I think he just has to get past Buffalo, and hopefully he gets to the Steelers. I know things can change before the draft, but this certainly is one excellent and logical alternative.

    Followed by a 2nd round CB and a 3rd WR pick.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Especially with Tate in the backfield and Hoyer at QB. I don’t expect them to pick QB until later.

  • Sid

    We need a TE that can get downfield. Ebron would be exactly what this offense needs. I have this feeling he will be gone. The steelers will trade down to 18-20, obtain a 1 and 2 and pick Benjamin. They can then very easily package their 2 seconds and trade back up to the bottom of 1 and nab Kyle Fuller (CB VaTech).

    They then have a pick or two in 3 as comps for Wallace and Lewis where they can address DL, DL… in 4 go OLB, 5 go ILB, 6 scatback, 7 punter.

  • Sid

    I have this feeling Spence is doing well. Its the only reason i see for them cutting Foote. Otherwise they are saying we feel totally comfortable with Vince and Kion Wilson. Spence has been on twitter saying he is ready to get after it… i am hopeful he stays healthy… kids got drive and wants to excel…

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Let’s keep praying for him, as he deserves a little good luck. And, of course, it would help the Steelers immensely if he could at least play a role. I am not expecting the stud that looked so promising 2 years ago.

  • Randy Neff

    I don’t get the mentality that the team is set at LT. I don’t think any of the top 3 LT will be there, but if one of them is, it would be really stupid not to consider them.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    And all of those players have a chance to be taken before 15 except for Shazier, and when you include the 3 QBs and players we won’t take like Clowney, Donald, Jernigan, and the 2 safeties that’s 17 players, so someone is bound to fall into our laps

  • Sid

    I disagree… you look at each teams need and u quickly find out we can easily end up with any of the following: Ebron, Dennard, or Lewan. The trick isnt the top tier guys its the jockeying for the top ILB, Safety and DE that doesnt fit a 3-4 (Donald). Teams below us that may value any of those guys will jockey to pull the trigger to get the talent. Mosley and ha ha will be there.. there are at least 2 teams below us that will want those guys and would probably trade up to get Mosley because he is far and away the best ILB in the draft. Question is do the steelers anticipate Mosley being there and intend on grabbing him?

  • Derick L Young

    They should stick with drafting defense in the 1st and 2nd and can get C.J. Fiedorowicz later on the 2nd or 3rd day. Ebron would be more of a luxury pick and the Steelers don’t have luxury. They have many holes. TE is a big drop off after Heath. Unless Paulson makes some major strides before September.

  • Derick L Young

    I do not think ILB will be the pick, most likely gone by 1.15, with Vince Williams. He started 11 games and played over 400 snaps as a rookie! That is crazy and the coaches must like him. Maybe his ceiling went up. Although they have to draft a LB at some point. More OLB than ILB IMO.

  • gene mann

    i would look to Move Gilbert for a draft pick

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I do agree with you. I would not be upset if we picked Ebron but would rather see Gilbert or Barr

  • Guest

    Is there any realistic chance that they let Wallace or Velasco battle for center with Pouncey and DeCastro playing guards? Even with paying Foster starting money?

  • shawn

    like ur thinking !

  • shawn

    i think manziel could be the big slip this year … i doubt Carr is taken in 1st round at all

  • Jason

    I don’t know. I just really don’t like the idea of taking any O player in the first round. Would rather trade down at that point and get some extra picks, and get a later 1st D player.