For the first time since 1984, the Steeler's first four picks of the 2021 NFL draft were offensive players. Typically the Steelers love to draft early on the defensive side of the ball, but after watching how they played offensively in 2020 I don't blame them for going offensively early on in the draft this year. The Steelers need to fix their running game and that is what they started to do early on, but with the second pick in the 2021 NFL draft, they decided to address the tight end position instead of the offensive line. After they went for a tight end the Steelers decided to beef up their offensive line.
Steelers defensive coach Keith Butler says he didn't mind the Steelers going offensively early on in the 2021 NFL draft because it will allow his defense to finally watch the offense run the ball. That is what the Steelers offense was missing last season and they would generally go three and out many times during the season. That would not allow the Steelers defense to catch their breath before going back out onto the football field. So you would see the Steelers defense out of breath walking into the 4th quarter many times during the 2020 season.
Keith Butler: “I’ve been here a long time,” Butler said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’ve been fortunate enough to coach in three Super Bowls, and I think in all three of those Super Bowls, we had a good running game. So I’m not going to gripe and complain about us picking Najee in the first round and staying on offense the first day or two. That doesn’t bother me because the best defense to me is always sitting on the sideline watching your offense run the football.”
Hopefully, the Steelers can establish the run now that they have secured a premier running back in Najee Harris. This will allow the defense to get the rest they need before they go back onto the football field. It will also allow the Steelers to manage the clock a lot better than they did in 2020. By allowing the Steelers defense to stay fresh throughout the entire games in 2021 it will give the defense a much better chance to show just how elite they really are. So by the Steelers going offensively early actually helped the defensive side of the ball as well.