Dec 28, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron (85) runs after a catch during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina defeated Cincinnati 39-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Outlining the Steelers Biggest Draft Needs


After the Steelers 2013 season, it’s obvious that the team has more needs than usual.  Because of this the Steelers front office will have some hard decisions to make on draft day.  Here are three of the biggest needs that should, or better, be addressed on the first two das of the draft.

 

Pass Catcher

Whether it comes in the form of a joker tight end or a wide receiver, the Steelers brass must add a pass catcher early on in the draft when May roles around.  Right now Ben Roethlisberger has a superstar Antonio Brown, aging Heath Miller, unproven Markus Wheaton, aging Lance Moore, and a bunch of guys who barely deserve to make the roster to throw to.  There is no way that the Steelers can go into the season with that lineup.  Ben Roethlisberger is in the back third of his career, and if the team wants a shot at another Super Bowl they have to get Ben the necessary weapons for him to take them there.  The team’s front office already hugely improved the running back position by signing LeGarrette Blount, now they have to do the same at the wide receiver and/or tight end positions.

Possible Targets: Eric Ebron (1st), Odell Beckham (1st), Davante Adams (1st-2nd), Allen Robinson (1st-2nd), Jarvis Landry (2nd), & Jordan Matthews (2nd)

 

Cornerback

While pass catcher is the biggest need on the offensive side of the ball, cornerback is the biggest need on defense.  Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, William Gay, and a bunch of no name cornerbacks don’t make up an adequate secondary.  Especially since Ike will be gone next year, and Gay will be gone the year after that.  The cornerback must be addressed, and it must be addressed on May 8th or early on May 9th.  Cornerback is deepest position in the draft so it should definitely be the second round priority for the Steelers, unless someone they absolutely love is still on the board.  Despite the Seahawks receiving all the credit for revolutionizing tall cornerbacks, the Steelers were doing simultaneously.  When the 2012 season began, 3 of the Steelers top 4 cornerbacks were over 6 feet.  Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, and Keenan Lewis.  Expect them to continue that trend and target a tall cornerback early in the draft.

Possible Targets: Jason Verrett (1st), Kyle Fuller (1st), Bradley Roby (1st-2nd), Bashuad Breeland (2nd), and Pierre Desir (2nd)

 

Defensive Line

When the offseason was just beginning I thought that defensive line was undoubtedly the Steelers biggest need to address.  Things got worse fast when Ziggy Hood and Al Woods left for greener, or less green, pastures.  The Steelers front office did do a good job of rebounding though when they signed Cam Thomas to a one year deal.  They still do need a starter along the defensive line and a versatile backup who can play both 0-tech nose tackle and 5-tech defensive end.  Although defensive line has been taken over by cornerback and pass catcher for the top two needs, it still should be a top priority this offseason.  The biggest reason that the defense was less than stellar this offseason was largely because the defensive line couldn’t stop the run, which led to easy short passes against Dick LeBeau’s off man scheme.

Possible Targets: Aaron Donald (1st), Louis Nix III (1st-2nd), Ra’Shede Hageman (1st-2nd), Dominique Easley (2nd), Stephon Tuitt (2nd)

Tags: Dominique Easley Eric Ebron Jason Verrett Pittsburgh Steelers

  • bk

    It will be an interesting draft… I don’t expect a lot of trades (maybe a few in the top 10 to get a specific player)… I don’t see the Steelers getting any trading down done…
    So when they pick in Rd 1, the only pass catcher I like that will be there is Benjamin, but, he is a bit of a reach, but, he could be a steal if he pans out.
    I really think they will take Dennard though if he is there or Nix..a LS would be Lewan if he is there… but I really think it will be Dennard.
    Then Rd 2 they go Wr.. Moncrief and Bryant have a ton of potential but Matthews did not set an SEC record for career catches by accident… I think Moncrief is the pick though.
    Rd 3 there are all kinds of possibilities…do they address DL with Coleman or McCullers who may both be there in rd 4 or if Smallwood is there grab an ILB or even a safety like Dixon.. but, I think that OT Turner is still there and he is the pick.
    Rd 4 is where they get DL help or ILB help… Bullough makes the most sense to me so I put him there.. 2 MSU players from that great defense should help.
    Rd 5 Crockett Gilmore if he is there or DeAnthony Thomas if he is there… Richard Rogers TE from Cal if the other 2 are gone….

    • Anthony Chiado

      You just successfully put together an awful draft. Congratulations.

      • bk

        I’ve seen your’s… please… act like a 16 yr old not a 12 yr old.
        If you think mine is bad, wait until Tomlin gets his players again…

  • Dom DiTolla

    The last thing this team needs to do is waste an early pick on a defensive lineman over a wide receiver, tight end, cornerback(s), outside linebacker or a running back. Mitchell seems to be pretty high on Nick Williams and Brian Arnfelt, and the “top talent” in this draft (guys expected to go early) along the D-Line is better suited for a 4-3 scheme than a 3-4. This team would be better off drafting a couple of guys on day three or taking one then and another two as UDFAs and letting Mitchell groom them like he has so many others during his career.

  • Carl Eagan

    Got CB right. However it’s mind boggling that the same people who were singing Wheaton’s praises less than a year ago think a rookie receiver is going to save the day. Maybe if Watkin’s or Evan’s are available but besides them no one else is worthy of the pick. Benjamin isn’t even as good as Moyer. Thomas replacing Woods and Hood is nothing more than a camp body a reject nose tackle isn’t going to play right defensive end where he has never played and do well. Williams and Arnfelt may be ready however Tuitt would be a good addition. Offensive line is another need to replace the fodder Tomlin has brought in to play tackle.

    • Anthony Chiado

      Pretty much that entire paragraph except for Watkins being worthy of the pick and Benjamin being terrible is completely wrong.