Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Pittsburgh Steelers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 16.0 (17th)
  • Best ranking: 11th (
  • Worst ranking: 21st (USA Today)

Below you will find a post-draft roundup for the Steelers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 15

Players who benefited most from draft: OTs Zach Banner and Chukwuma Okorafor

The Steelers didn't draft a Day 1 starting tackle, and that's good news for both Okorafor and Banner. With Alejandro Villanueva departing in free agency, Okorafor is "penciled in" at starting left tackle according to what Mike Tomlin said in April. Banner, coming off an ACL surgery, is projected to start at right tackle -- the position he won in a training camp battle a year ago. Both have more job security, with the Steelers opting to wait until the fourth round to take an offensive tackle. -- Brooke Pryor -- Rank: 11

Selecting dynamic Alabama running back Najee Harris with the 24th overall pick filled a clear area need for a Steelers team that plodded at that position in 2020. Pittsburgh added more offense in the second round with the selection of Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth, who profiles as an excellent counterpart to Eric Ebron. Even with these reinforcements, the Steelers feel vulnerable on offense as we enter a new season. Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins aren't the most reassuring insurance plans behind a fading Ben Roethlisberger, and the offensive line continues to loom as a concern at a time when division rivals in Baltimore and Cleveland have bolstered their pass rush.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 13

Ben Roethlisberger is back, but the offensive line has questions and the defense has some too (such as edge rush opposite T.J. Watt). I think they are the third team in the AFC North right now.

USA Today -- Rank: 20

You really have to wonder if this offensive line, which didn't get reinforcements before the third round of this draft, will make QB Ben Roethlisberger's last dance a short one.

The Athletic -- Rank: 21

Mike Tomlin has never coached a team that's had a losing record, so the Steelers' floor is high. But Pittsburgh looks like a team poised to take a step back. It was the NFL's fifth-healthiest team last year. They were 7-2 in one-score games. And they had the second-easiest schedule.

The defense should still be strong. But an offense that ranked 22nd in efficiency is bringing back 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger and an offensive line that has all kinds of question marks. Maybe new offensive coordinator Matt Canada will be a difference-maker, but the most likely scenario is that the Steelers deliver a mediocre offense and a team that hovers around .500 all season.

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