What are the positions of need? What veteran will not return? Will there be coaching changes? What has to be done to make the playoffs again? These are common questions for Pittsburgh Steelers fans, who do not like the fact that the team missed the playoffs in 2012. While fans debate these questions and more, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin have started evaluating the coaching staff and overall roster with an eye on navigating through free agency.NFL Draft in April. Pittsburgh has always been a team that relied on the draft to build from within, and that is a trend that should continue this offseason.
Although the entire draft order is not finalized, the Steelers front office and coaching staff already know that they will have the 17th pick in the first round, there highest selection since selecting Lawrence Timmons number 15 overall in the 2007 draft.
In looking at recent drafts, the Steelers have done a great job at grabbing value on the rare occasion when the select inside the top 20. Going back to 2001, the team has landed multiple Pro Bowl players when this happens. These players include nose tackle Casey Hampton (19th), safety Troy Polamalu (16th), quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (11th), Timmons (15th), and center Maurkice Pouncey (18th). In looking at those players, they truly make up a solid portion of the core that led the team to two Super Bowl victories in three appearances.
While there are many questions that must be answered before an honest attempt can be made on which players the Steelers will select, there will be a lot of speculation and disinformation out there. With the roster as it is, at this point, it would seem like wide receiver, safety or outside linebacker would be the leading candidates to fill that spot. What name, that guess will come in a few weeks as draft coverage goes into overdrive.
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