Just when you thought the Pittsburgh Steelers were done making free agency moves, they go off and sign two more, one of them a pretty notable name. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey was brought in on a one year contract, same goes for CB Brice McCain. Both had horrible seasons last year, and both are safe to make the 53 man roster, even with Heyward-Bey’s first round status. Neither should make much of an impact, and they were brought in simply for depth if they do indeed make the 53 man roster.
With these two signings, however, its shaping up what the Steelers draft plans intend to be. Even though one can never predict what teams do in the draft, the Steelers are incredible thin at several positions that need future starters due to old starters leaving through free agency and veterans on their last leg with the Steelers.
With the two most recent signings by the Steelers, the most obvious thing that they tell me is that the Steelers will be taking a cornerback in the first round. Before, it was up in the air between a cornerback and a wide receiver, but with the signings of both Lance Moore and Heyward-Bey, both veterans of the game, the Steelers intend to make wide receiver less of a priority in the draft. Also, wide receiver is incredibly deep, making it easy to find one later in the draft. Cornerback is also a very deep position in the draft, but the Steelers need a starter as soon as next season, and there are two very talented cornerbacks that could fall to the Steelers that would be hard to pass up on.
The second thing that free agency told me about the Steelers draft plans is defensive end is now a need. I truly thought that the Steelers would be able to retain either Ziggy Hood or Al Woods and be apart of their long term plans at DE, but now that both are gone, there is no clear cut starter at LDE. Cam Thomas was brought in to play DE, a position he has never played before, but looks like he will not start. Brett Keisel can still be brought in, which is probably the most likely option at this point, but what about the 2015 season. Stephen Tuitt could be available in the second round, and if he is, pick him up and have him rotate in for a season, then take over when Keisel leaves after one more season.
Another scenario that could be on the Steelers mind is starting Brian Arnfelt or Nick Williams. To me, Williams would be the most likely. As a seventh round rookie, he didn’t make it out of the preseason healthy, but the Steelers put him on IR instead of flat out cutting him. That means they see something in the kid, and let me tell you, the kid is a monster. When I went to the Steelers training camp, my jaw dropped when he walked by. By far the biggest human being I have ever seen. If John Mitchell could ever get this kid developed, he could be an absolute beast. Look for Williams updates in training camp.
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