Free agents: None
The good: Beachum has been an absolute find as a seventh-round draft pick -- No. 248 overall in 2012 -- and he has settled in as the Steelers’ left tackle. The 6-foot-3, 303-pounder is going into the final year of his contact and has played well enough for the Steelers to sign him to a long-term deal. Gilbert, who signed a five-year, $30 million contract last August, has been solid at right tackle, though he has struggled at times against premier pass rushers. The Steelers could do better as far as their starting tackles, but they could do a whole lot worse as well. And Gilbert and Beachum are still young players who should get better under offensive line coach Mike Munchak.
The bad: The Steelers had high hopes for Adams, their second-round pick in 2012, but he did not mount a serious challenge to Gilbert in training camp last season. The 6-7, 323-pounder is running out of time to show the Steelers he can start at right tackle after flopping at left tackle in 2013. The Steelers’ long-term depth at tackle is precarious given Adams’ contract situation. He has been valuable as a third tackle, but Adams may opt to go elsewhere after his contract expires so he has a better chance to start.
The burning question: Would the Steelers use their first-round draft pick on a tackle? It is such an important position that the Steelers would have to entertain taking a tackle if one they really like is available at No. 22 overall.
The money: Gilbert is due a base salary of $5.45 million in 2015. Adams’ base salary is $873,225. Beachum is scheduled to make $660,000, but he has outplayed his rookie contract and should receive a significant raise.
Draft priority: Medium to high. The Steelers need to draft a young tackle at some point. It never hurts to have young depth at the position, and the Steelers can let Munchak sort it out if they take a tackle early in the draft.