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.