Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 Draft Preview


The Sports Network

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Steelers, owners of a record six Super Bowl titles, are a pedestrian 16-16 over the past two NFL seasons.

That kind of mediocrity hasn't been seen in the Steel City since the late 1990s and it's not the kind of thing people are used to in Pittsburgh.

The expiration date on Ben Roethlisberger's shelf life as a top-tier NFL quarterback is rapidly approaching so the Steelers and head coach Mike Tomlin must pull out all the stops in order to take advantage of the 32-year-old's remaining prime.

The most glaring deficiency in Pittsburgh is left tackle where former seventh- round pick Kelvin Beachum is currently penciled in to protect Roethlisberger's blind side.

If Notre Dame's Zack Martin, a safe pick with a ton of position flexibility, remains on the board at No. 15 he might serve as a solid approach, as would Michigan's Taylor Lewan.

If both are gone, which is a distinct possibility, cornerbacks like Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert and Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard are sure to be high on the Steelers' wish list.

2013 Record: 8-8

Top Needs: CB, LT, DL, WR

First Three Picks: No. 15, No. 46, No. 97

Number of Selections: 9 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7)

CALLING THE SHOTS: Kevin Colbert, the first person given the general manager title in Steelers' history, already has two Lombardi Trophies under his belt but he's been slow to replenish the talent on hand, like a lot of people who have experienced success. The key in this industry is the thought process that it is better to give up on a player a year too early than a year too late. Colbert has yet to prove he can embrace that fact.

RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2013 - Jarvis Jones (OLB, Georgia); 2012 - David DeCastro (OG, Stanford); 2011 - Cameron Heyward (DE, Ohio State); 2010 - Maurkice Pouncey (C, Florida); 2009 - Evander "Ziggy" Hood (DL, Missouri); 2008 - Rashard Mendenhall (RB, Illinois); 2007 - Lawrence Timmons (LB, Florida State); 2006 - Santonio Holmes (WR, Ohio State); 2005 - Heath Miller (TE, Virginia); 2004 - Ben Roethlisberger (QB, Miami-Ohio); 2003 - Troy Polamalu (SS, USC).

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