Ben Roethlisberger was having one of his best seasons ever in 2012 before an injury derailed him. As the Steelers approach this year's draft, I'm sure there are a few players that Roethlisberger would like to see the team bring on board.
Here's a look at five players that the quarterback is keeping his fingers crossed for later this month.
The Steelers have three top-notch receivers already, but Roethlisberger enjoys throwing it around. There also is no guarantee that Mike Wallace will be around after next season (and still no real guarantee that he won't be nabbed this year either).
The Steelers could decide to protect themselves against any outcome by taking a player like Hill that can be groomed behind the team's core players this season.
The likelihood of the team bringing in Hill is low, however, because they have bigger needs to address in Round 1. If Wallace should find himself with a better offer before the draft, the Steelers could use the second first round pick they'd receive on him, however.
The Steelers have often thrived on a solid running game with great blocking from the offensive line. Last season, Ben Roethlisberger took a lot of punishing hits.
There's some argument that the interior of the offensive line is not up to par for either run or pass blocking. Therefore, Roethlisberger might be very happy to see some more help added early in the draft.
Glenn is one of the best guards available and should be around at the time when the Steelers are selecting in the first round. He will be one of the best players on the board around No. 24 overall, so he fits the way the Steelers do things as well.
James is a dynamic, play-making runner from a high-power offense. Who wouldn't want him on their squad?
The Steelers aren't counting Rashard Mendenhall out, but there's little sentiment that he'll be brought back after next year. There's also no guarantee that he'll be ready to play when the team takes the field in August and September.
Roethlisberger could do wonderful things with James on offense. He'd be gaining a powerful runner and also a great receiver out of the backfield. James would be a great guy to team with Isaac Redman and would give the Steelers a very diverse set of options.
The Steelers lost possession receiver Hines Ward to retirement and have yet to bring back Jerricho Cotchery to be the team's possession receiver. Randle would give Roethlisberger a different type of target than he has with the team's top three receivers.
Randle is a possession guy who's a pretty good blocker. He has some nice skills as well, although he wasn't able to really show his stuff at the combine in February.
The Steelers have built around the abilities honed by Ward over his career. He's a major part of their successes. They need to find someone who they can insert into that role. Randle might just be that guy.
Roethlisberger is an elite quarterback. He doesn't, however, play a full season regularly. As a true team guy, I'm sure he'd feel comfortable if the team found a young player to groom behind him as his backup. Right now, there is no backup.
Wilson is the perfect fit for that. He doesn't project as a starter in the NFL, at least not right now. He is, however, a playmaker. He could end up being a great backup or he could become a trade piece if he develops into a guy who needs his own team.
The Steelers would be wise to get a backup guy in the draft. They've spent far too long and far too much on quick fixes that don't really work. Wilson should be that guy in the fourth or fifth round.