PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Steelers have a big void in the middle of the field ever since Ryan Shazier was injured last season. Shazier has already been ruled out for this season while he continues to rehab his spinal cord injury. The Steelers signed free agent Jon Bostic in March, but are still looking to add to that group.
The Steelers always like to select the best available athlete in the first round and this year, that athlete could be an inside linebacker. The Steelers talked to more inside linebackers than any other position. It’s their biggest need for the 2018 season.
Georgia’s Roquan Smith is considered to be the most talented inside linebacker in this year’s group. Unless the Steelers plan to trade up, Smith will not be wearing a Steelers uniform. Smith is considered to be an instant impact player.
Boise State’s Leighton Vander Esch might be just the guy the Steelers are looking for. Vander Esch is big, fast and had 141 tackles last season.
The Steelers brought him to town for a pre-draft interview a few weeks ago. They also took him to dinner before his Pro Day. I think if Vander Esch is on the board, the Steelers select him with their first pick.
The Steelers also scouted Alabama’s Rashaan Evans. He isn’t as tall as Vander Esch or as explosive as Smith, but is considered to be one of the top three players at his position. Evans had six sacks, one forced fumble and a National Championship ring as a senior at ‘Bama.
The Steelers might not select a linebacker today, but they will have one before the weekend.