First Few Days Of Free Agency Has Helped Bring Steelers Draft Picture Into Better Focus
While the Pittsburgh Steelers really haven’t done a lot so far during the first few days of free agency, they’ve done enough to give us a little better picture as to what positions they will most likely address during the 2014 NFL Draft. While this picture will become even clearer over the course of the coming weeks, let us take a quick look at things position by position.
Safety – Now that Mike Mitchell has been signed, I think we can all agree that the safety position is no longer a high priority in the draft. I think it’s safe to assume that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor will not be drafted in the first round. How the Steelers feel about Robert Golden, however, could dictate whether or not they spend a draft pick on a safety in the middle or late rounds. I could certainly see the mid-round compensatory pick the Steelers will receive for losing Keenan Lewis last offseason possibly being used on a free safety. However, if they don’t draft one at all, I won’t be shocked.
Nose Tackle – The addition of Cam Thomas this week should have everyone safely off of the Louis Nix III bandwagon. In addition to Thomas, should the Steelers wind up signing a starting defensive end over the course of the next few weeks, the defensive line numbers would dictate that a nose tackle won’t be drafted.
Defensive End – This position sort of goes hand in hand with nose tackle. The Steelers really seem interested in Alex Carrington and if they ultimately sign him, there won’t be a need to draft defensive end in the first several rounds. In addition, assuming they think Nick Williams and Brian Arnfelt will be part of their 2014 plans, you will safely be able to completely rule out them drafting a defensive end altogether.
Outside Linebacker – Now that LaMarr Woodley is gone, the Steelers are left with Chris Carter to back up Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones. How does that make all of you feel? Even if they add an outside linebacker during free agency, they most certainly will need to draft another young prospect in May.
Inside Linebacker – Now that Larry Foote is gone, the Steelers are left with Lawrence Timmons, Vince Williams, Kion Wilson, Terence Garvin and possibly Sean Spence, depending on that knee of his. Spence really is the big wild card here and his health could dictate how early an inside linebacker will be drafted. Let’s face it, Wilson and Garvin are both hanging on by threads, Timmons isn’t getting any younger and Williams hasn’t shown us yet he can stay on the field on third downs.
Cornerback – Yeah, I don’t think I need to explain this position. If the Steelers don’t draft two cornerbacks this year, then somebody has some serious explaining to do. The first of two could very well come in the first round.
Quarterback – Like most of you, I’m not buying the recent report that the Steelers have serious interest in Zach Mettenberger and they shouldn’t have had eyes for Landry Jones-enberger last year in the fourth round, either.
Running Back – I really think by the time the draft rolls around, the Steelers will have signed at least one free agent running back. With that being said, I think there’s a real good possibility that they draft another one on day three.
Wide Receiver – How tall is tall, because we all know the Steelers are going to draft a wide receiver again this year. This could happen anywhere in the first four rounds.
Tight End – David Paulson is not going to make it and thus the Steelers could use another tight end. The only thing we need to figure out now is what round will one be drafted. I know several of you are high on Eric Ebron, but I can’t see the Steelers spending a first round pick on a tight end this year. However, next year is a different story.
Center – Now that Cody Wallace has been re-signed, this position is taken care of.
Guard – Wallace can also play both guard positions and Kelvin Beachum can play every position on the offensive line. In addition, Nik Embernate will looking to battle for a roster spot as well.
Tackle – Beachum, Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert will be enough to keep the Steelers from drafting a tackle early and I really doubt they draft one at all when you look at the numbers on the offensive line. If they do draft one, however, it will most likely be on day three.
Fullback – Unless the Steelers want to burn a late round pick on Trey Millard, I just can’t see them addressing this position.