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Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Tavon Austin is the top receiver in this draft, and his speed would give the Pittsburgh Steelers the ability to stretch the field and would make the entire offense more dangerous. He will likely go before they pick at 17th overall, but if he falls to them, they’d be foolish to pass.
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The injury concerns that have come out are worrisome and could cause a draft-day tumble. If a player with Dee Milliner’s shutdown skill gets near Pittsburgh, they need to find a way to grab him. He probably doesn’t slip out of the top 10, but you never know on draft night.
Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The best safety prospect in this draft, but he comes with some concerns about how his game will transition to the next level. He’s a big-time athlete and very physical and aggressive. Those are traits Dick LeBeau will want in his team.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
A big, physical target who also has the speed to stretch the field, he would be the long-awaited big target Ben Roethlisberger wants. He has all of the skills, but Pittsburgh could see another position as more needy and let him pass.
Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
Jones is the player most often mocked to Pittsburgh, but the spinal concerns are troublesome. The sentiment is that he doesn’t get past the Steelers at 17th overall, but he could even go higher. If there were no health concerns, he’d be a top-10 pick.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Is tight end a need in Pittsburgh? Heath Miller’s injury has that question being asked. If the Steelers answer yes and miss out on other targets, Tyler Eifert makes sense. If they trade down in the round, he’d be the perfect selection in the mid-20s.
Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Keenan Lewis left in free agency. The jury is out on Cortez Allen. Ike Taylor’s days are numbered as he ages and becomes more susceptible to injury. Xavier Rhodes is a talented player with the ability to create big plays. Pittsburgh could use that in a backfield that doesn’t create turnovers.
D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
A long shot to get to 17th overall, D.J. Fluker could be an answer for the left tackle position. The Steelers have Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams there long-term, but it never hurts to have another good tackle, and Adams was far from successful in his rookie season.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
The one starting job that is completely bereft of a good candidate is at running back. Eddie Lacy is a tough runner who could give Pittsburgh its first true feature back since Jerome Bettis or Willie Parker roamed the backfield.