Madden Monday: Strong Steelers draft won't lead to uptick in win total

According to Mark Madden of 105.9 The X and TribLIVE, the Pittsburgh Steelers have checked some important boxes when it comes to the NFL Draft.

Specifically, adding a lot of talent on offense by drafting Washington tackle Troy Votano and West Virginia center Zach Frazier.

“I think they did a good job,” Madden said during that. This week's Madden Monday Podcast. “They've got a couple of offensive linemen who should come right in and start — unless they stick to their stupid tradition of having to slowly mix in rookies like they did last year with Broderick Jones. But Frazier and Futano should start right away. If they do, they'll have “A good offensive line, if they do that, they can run the ball.”

However, Madden does not expect a significant increase in the Steelers' win total from the 10 they posted in 2023.

“Despite the wins I think they made in the draft, I don't think they're a team that's going to win any more games,” Madden said. “I think you need a better quarterback to do that. I think you need a better receiving corps to do that.”

“I think where they are now is (they're) equipped to play football the way they prefer, and (how) you could win in the 1970s. Pound the ball down the floor and play good defense. I think they'll beat the bad teams – usually – by playing that way.” “But you're going to beat Joe Burrow? Are you going to beat Josh Allen? Are you going to win the playoff? I don't think so.”

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When it comes to the topic of receivers, the Steelers tried to add to that room by drafting Roman Wilson from Michigan in the third round. But as Madden said, that won't be enough.

“At best, he's a No. 3 receiver. They're still short of a No. 2,” Madden said. “They have to go after Courtland Sutton (Denver receiver).”

As for which side of the line Votano should play (if he's allowed to start in place of Dan Moore Jr.), Madden says there's room for debate because the Steelers also have to decide what to do with Broderick Jones. He was the No. 1 pick last year and ended up playing on the right side while Moore occupied the left side, although Jones' natural position was on the left side.

As for Votano, he was also a left fielder at Washington.

“It would probably be continuity to leave Jones on the right and Futano on the left. But I think Jones is considered the better of the two, even though they're both first-round picks,” Madden said. “So I'm leaning towards putting Futano on the right and Jones on the left. Then again, there are those who say Fauntanu is too small to play tackle and will likely play guard. But I don't think that will happen in his first year. I think it will be a step down if he doesn't play satisfactorily in the tackles.

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also In the PodcastMadden and I discussed Cameron Heyward's contract situation, the ripple effect of drafting Mason McCormick, the NHL playoffs, and the Buccaneers' drop below .500.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via X. All Tweets can be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise stated.

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