Not many media outlets have been very nice to the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2021 NFL draft. It seems like all is normal in the national media with how much they hate on the Steelers. Pro Football Focus, ESPN, Bleacher Report, and other big national media outlets have said the Steelers made a mistake by drafting a running back in the first round. Do these outlets not realize the Steelers finished almost dead last in regards to the running game in 2020? No one ever seems to mention that the Steelers running backs only averaged 3.6 yards per carry in 2020 too.
After the conclusion of the NFL draft, many national media outlets love to do Post-Draft Power Rankings with all 32 NFL teams. Bleacher Report recently released their Post-Draft Power Rankings. They feel the Steelers are currently the fourteenth best NFL team after the 2021 NFL draft. They feel although the Steelers did go 11-0 in the 2020 season they did have an uneasy offseason with many departures. The Steelers did end up addressing one of their biggest needs by drafting Najee Harris in the first round and Bleacher feels he will give the Steelers a sizeable boost going into the 2021 season.
They still feel the Steelers still have quite a few areas of concern after the 2021 NFL draft. The Steelers ended up losing two key cornerbacks (Steven Nelson and Mike Hilton), Bud Dupree, Maurkice Pouncey, and now Alejandro Villanueva. They're are still considered a good team, but it's hard to view this group as a Super Bowl contender. They also said this Steelers team looks like they are a team primed for a backslide.
Let me remind everyone we heard this same narrative last season and the Steelers ended up going undefeated 11 games. Granted they did implode at the end of the 2020 season the team still ended up undefeated at one point. That is pretty hard to do in the NFL.
Heading into 2021 one reason they could be 'primed' for a backslide could have absolutely nothing to do with their team, but rather they will have the toughest schedule going into 2021. I think Harris is going to help them tremendously, but the key to the Steeler's success will be judged on if they can keep Ben Roethlisberger upright in 2021. If Ben goes down you can kiss the Steelers chances goodbye.