‘Freak Athlete’ Named a Perfect Fit for Steelers at Center

aaron brewer, pittsburgh steelers

Getty Aaron Brewer was named a perfect fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers

While it’s the position that’s getting most of the headlines this offseason, quarterback isn’t the only position where the Pittsburgh Steelers need some help this offseason.

They also need some reinforcements on defense and across their offensive line.

In particular, center has become a big need for the team as they prepare to run the ball more in 2024.

They could find the answer to that issue in free agency.

Steelers Now’s Nick Farabaugh believes that “freak athlete” Aaron Brewer from the Tennessee Titans would be a perfect fit for the Steelers at center.

“He had his best year in 2023, with PFF giving him a 71.6 grade over his 17 starts. He’s better in run blocking than pass blocking, but would be an immediate run-blocking upgrade over Cole while still possessing some upside as a relatively young free agent. This is a player to watch for the Steelers.

But why? Well, it’s not hard to see why. Brewer is a freak athlete for the position. Brewer’s ability to cut off angles and make some downright elite blocks in space stands out for a team that will run as much wide zone as the Steelers likely will under Smith.”

A Bright Spot on a Bad Offensive Line

Heading into the 2023 NFL season, the offensive line was one of the biggest concerns for the Titans.

It was as big of an issue as expected.

They allowed the fifth-most sacks in the league in 2023. The team’s run game also struggled. Derrick Henry’s averaged the least yards per carry of his career.

Brewer wasn’t a ton of help on the pass blocking side of things. He allowed 6 sacks and 34 pressures during the season.

He looked a whole lot better as a run blocker though. Brewer graded as the seventh-best center in the league as a run blocker in 2023.

As Farabaugh explained, Brewer would fit in the Steelers’ likely new scheme for the 2024 season and his ability to run block will be much more important than his struggles blocking for the QB given Arthur Smith’s tendencies.

Signing Brewer would also keep the Steelers’ options open for how to address the other positions they need to upgrade this offseason.

Keeping Steelers’ Options Open

The Steelers have already been linked to a couple of intriguing prospects to fill their center need ahead of the 2024 draft.

Jackson Powers-Johnson became a popular pick for the team in mock drafts after an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl. For the Steelers to make that happen, they’d have to spend their 1st rounder on him, if he’s even still available.

There was also a report that they “absolutely love” West Virginia’s Zach Frazier, who they could probably wait until round two to grab.

Both players are strong options to fix the team’s issues at center, but the Steelers would have to use a premium draft pick to get either and have other needs on the roster.

Landing a free agent like Brewer, who is young enough to be a long-term answer at the position and would be able to step up immediately would solve the issue while freeing the Steelers up to strengthen the roster elsewhere.

The team needs help at offensive tackle and corner back. Their best chances of filling those needs will be in the first two rounds.

It would be difficult to find players that can make an impact at those positions that won’t break the bank.

If the Steelers can get a young, affordable center that will fit with their team in 2024 like Brewer, then they should make it happen.

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