ESPN ranks the Pittsburgh Steelers 17th in their Latest Power Rankings
Much of the National Media does not like the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers heading into the new season. The biggest reason is that they think the Steelers did not address their offensive line during the 2021 NFL draft. With the departures of Maurkice Pouncey, Alejandro Villanueva, Matt Feiler, and David DeCastro the Steelers will now look to a younger offensive line who has not been proven yet.
ESPN feels the Steelers are entering an interesting phase where they will walk into the unknown with Ben Roethlisberger. He will be walking into the 2021 season on a one-year deal and he has turned 39 years old. Although the Steelers do have Ben Roethlisberger the Steelers will need to find someone else under center to take over for him in the near future.
The Steelers currently have Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins behind Ben this season, but both have much to prove going forward especially if they want to take the reins from Future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger. Field Yates of ESPN still believes the Steelers will find a way to be competitive when Ben Roethlisberger does decide to call it quits.
The biggest worry heading into Pittsburgh is their offensive line. ESPN says they have a terrible offensive line currently even though the Steelers haven't played a snap of football yet. So they believe Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has a lot of work to do to rebuild their offensive line going forward. I personally believe the Steelers needed to get younger on the offensive line because Adrian Klemm is going to demand a lot out of his offensive linemen this year. He is a very physical offensive line coach.
Although the Steelers have lost some key veterans on the offensive line players like David DeCastro could not stay on the football field so it hurt the Steelers more to keep him in Pittsburgh at this point. The same goes for Alejandro Villanueva and the Ravens are going to find that out the hard way this season.
Jeremey Fowler believes the Steelers could improve in 2021 though: "The offensive line is not hot trash, as projected in some media circles. The line got old fast last year and it had to get younger and more nimble. The team has big plans for third-round center Kendrick Green, second-year guard Kevin Dotson has toughness, and fourth-round tackle Dan Moore Jr. is the classic developmental project that Pittsburgh usually turns into production. Left tackle Chukwuma Okorafor has elite feet, and he just needs the toughness of right tackle Zach Banner, who will help the running game."
Little is to be known at this point with the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers. There is going to be a lot of 'new' when it comes to the Steelers this season... So it is really hard to gauge where the Steelers could rank toward the middle of the season. Pittsburgh should still be dangerous in 2021 and I believe the more that they're considered an underdog the better chances they have during the 2021 season to pull some upsets. The Steelers play better when they're underdogs.
We will have to wait and see how this season will play out for the 2021 Steelers because at this point I believe the National Media know if they're down on the Pittsburgh Steelers they will get many clicks. That seems to be how they operate during the offseason over the past couple of years. They were dead wrong last season when the Steelers were 11-0, but the Steelers did fizzle out at the end of 2020.