Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Talk: Recapping All the Latest Buzz
With the Pittsburgh Steelers completing their preparations for this week's NFL draft festivities, rumors are swirling about what the reloading Steelers will do with their eight draft choices. Needs are present at running back, safety, linebacker and cornerback. There are a ton of talented prospects available.
Here's a roundup of the latest Steelers draft buzz from around the web.
Tyler Eifert in Round 1?
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Tight end wouldn't seem to be a big area of need for a Pittsburgh Steelers team that has a star in his prime (Heath Miller), a veteran blocker (Matt Spaeth) and a young prospect (David Paulson) already on the roster.
But the Spaeth and Paulson are more complementary pieces than starters and there are serious questions surrounding Miller's health and recovery from a late-season knee injury.
Pennlive.com is now surmising that Pittsburgh may shock everyone and go with a tight end like Tyler Eifert in the first round.
That still seems to be a luxury that Pittsburgh cannot afford with pressing needs on defense and in the backfield, but the Steelers have a habit of taking the best player available regardless of their needs.
If Eifert is the top player on their draft board available at 17th overall, then he will be the pick.
A Cardinal Rule?
Harry How/Getty Images
Last year, David DeCastro moved across the country from Stanford to Pittsburgh to play with the Steelers. The Cardinals have a lot of good prospects in this year's draft class as well.
They also have a running back that might interest those same Pittsburgh Steelers.
CBS' Pittsburgh outlet has Pittsburgh likely to be interested in Stanford runner Stepfan Taylor and possibly also linebacker prospect Chase Thomas.
Both players would be good middle-round selections (running backs and linebackers who can start right away will be available deep into this year's draft) and would fit the Pittsburgh team's style and draft needs.
There's every chance Pittsburgh could get both of these players and get a cross-country pipeline going between one of the country's most-prestigious schools and one of the NFL's most prestigious franchises.
The Next Mike Wallace?
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Until Pittsburgh made the slightly-strange choice to match the New England Patriots' offer for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, they seemed destined to look to the wide receiver position in the first round of this year's draft.
Now, that first-round decision is up in the air.
Long Island Newsday's Nick Klopsis, however, thinks Pittsburgh may still target a wide receiver in the first round if defensive players that would fit their system are already off the board.
His pick is Tennessee receiver prospect Cordarrelle Patterson. The reasoning is that Sanders, Plaxico Burress and Antonio Brown lack the speed threat that former Steelers receiver Mike Wallace possessed.
Patterson isn't in the same category as Wallace, but his speed would allow Pittsburgh to take the top off a defense and open things up offensively.
A Big East Connection?
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, a lot of the draft process is about finding a player with good character as well as great skill on the field.
CBS' Pittsburgh outlet recently chronicled the interest the team has shown in linebacker prospect and former Connecticut star Sio Moore.
Moore is a great fit both on and off the field. He's a natural leader (something this team could certainly use after the locker-room instability last season and the retirement or departure of several veteran stalwarts) and a very versatile linebacker.
With a hole at both inside and outside linebacker opposite starters Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley, a player like Moore could be a great pickup in the middle of the draft. He would give Pittsburgh the ability to move him around until he finds his niche and he'll play with aggressiveness and show leadership immediately.
That's exactly the kind of player this team needs.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers seem content to allow Cortez Allen to succeed Keenan Lewis as the starting cornerback opposite Ike Taylor. William Gay would compete with a host of young players led by Curtis Brown for the nickel spot.
That doesn't mean that cornerback isn't an area of interest in the draft.
Steelers 101 has alleged that Pittsburgh is targeting mid- and late-round corners in their draft visit process. One of the players that they have had in is Utah State's Will Davis.
Pittsburgh, with eight selections, will surely take a corner at some point in this draft. They don't seem to be concerned enough to spend a high pick there and usually wait until the middle of the draft to look at corners.
Pittsburgh has had success with small-school defensive prospects before (Jack Lambert, James Harrison, Ike Taylor just to name a few prominent ones), so it makes sense they could go for a guy like Davis or William & Mary's B.W. Webb late and try to catch lightning in a bottle.