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Madden Monday: Steelers' solid draft won't spike win totals


According to Mark Madden of 105.9 The

Specifically: adding a lot of talent up front on offense by drafting Washington tackle Troy Fautanu and West Virginia center Zach Frazier.

“I think they did a good job,” Madden said during this week's “Madden Monday” podcast. “They have two offensive linemen who need to come in and start right away – unless they stick to their stupid tradition of having to ease rookies in slowly, like they did last year with Broderick Jones. But Frazier and Fautanu should start right away. If they do, they'll have a good offensive line. If they do that, they can run the ball.”

That said, Madden doesn't expect a dramatic increase in the Steelers' win total from the 10 they posted in 2023.

“Despite the gains 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 for that. I think you need a better receiving corps for that.

“I think what they are now is (they are) equipped to play football the way they prefer to play, and (how) you could win in the 70s. Hit the ball on the ground and play good defense. I think they will – most of the time – beat bad teams if they play that way. But you're going to beat Joe Burrow? Will you beat Josh Allen? Will you win a play-off match? I do not think so.”

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

“At best he's a No. 3 receiver. They are still missing a No. 2,” Madden said. “They need to pursue (Denver trustee) Courtland Sutton.”

As for which side of the line Fautanu should play (if he can bring up 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, even though Jones' natural position is on the left side.

As for Fautanu, he was also a left tackle in Washington.

“It would probably be more continuity if Jones stayed on the right and Fautanu on the left. But I think Jones is considered the better of the two, even though they are both first-round picks,” Madden said. 'So my inclination would be to put Fautanu on the right and Jones on the left. On the other hand, there are some who say that Fauntanu is a bit too small for tackle and would rather play as a guard. But I don't think that will happen in his first year. I think that would be a setback if he doesn't play satisfactorily in the tackle.”

Also on the podcast, Madden and I discuss Cameron Heyward's contract situation, the ripple effect of drafting Mason McCormick, the NHL playoffs and the Pirates falling below .500.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via X. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise stated.

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