10 Players the Steelers Need to Consider in the 2014 NFL Draft

Joseph BrunoCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2013

10 Players the Steelers Need to Consider in the 2014 NFL Draft

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    Barring an incredible surge in the second half of the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers are probably not going to make the 2013 playoffs.

    Unfortunately, that means looking ahead to the 2014 draft already.

    I honestly don’t believe the Steelers cupboard is completely bare, and if they improve in some key areas over the offseason they could be fine going into 2014.

    It’s still very early to pinpoint exactly where players are going to land in the draft, though here are ten prospects the Steelers should at least be looking at.

C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

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    I’m starting this rundown with the draft scenario that I think has the lowest chance of actually occurring. But that doesn’t make C.J. Mosley any less of a player.

    I loved the pick of Vince Williams in this past April's draft, and that he’s done a decent job as a rookie starter so far hasn't surprised me.

    That being said, Mosley could become a stud in the middle next to Lawrence Timmons and probably start day one.

    The Steelers aren’t likely to use a first-round pick on a linebacker in back-to-back years, but Mosley would be the only guy who I think has a shot of being taken by Pittsburgh.

Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Mike Adams may still be able to grow into a capable left tackle, but is anyone else tired of hoping that guys can play for this Steelers team?

    When the Steelers took Maurkice Pouncey, we knew he would lock down the position for years. The same went with guard David DeCastro. I know Adams and Marcus Gilbert were second-round picks, but when you can land a pure left tackle, you should take him.

    If the Steelers were able to get Jake Matthews, they could plug him in on Roethlisberger’s blind side and finally not have to worry about adequately protecting their quarterback.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    It has been painfully obvious this season that the Steelers lack playmakers on the offensive side of the football, especially at receiver.

    Antonio Brown is solid at best, Emmanuel Sanders is inconsistent and Jerricho Cotchery is in the twilight of his career.

    The Steelers don’t have one guy right now who can go out there and just dominate in the passing game, and after this season, they also could lose Sanders to free agency.

    Sammy Watkins definitely has the potential to be that type of game-changing receiver in the NFL and would definitely give a lift to the Steelers' aerial attack.

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

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    It has been painfully obvious this season that the Steelers lack playmakers on the offensive side of the football, especially at receiver.

    Antonio Brown is solid at best, Emmanuel Sanders is inconsistent and Jerricho Cotchery is in the twilight of his career.

    The Steelers don’t have one guy right now who can go out there and just dominate in the passing game, and after this season, they also could lose Sanders to free agency.

    Sammy Watkins definitely has the potential to be that type of game-changing receiver in the NFL and would definitely give a lift to the Steelers' aerial attack.

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

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    Heath Miller is pretty much back to being his solid self for the Steelers, yet the team has absolutely no one behind him right now.

    David Johnson is out for the season, David Paulson has taken a huge step backward and Matt Spaeth hasn’t played a snap all year.

    The Steelers need to find a way to inject something into the offense and North Carolina TE Eric Ebron would give Roethlisberger a huge target in the passing game.

    Ebron is also a capable blocker, which would allow the team to go with more two-tight end sets and take advantage of the favorable matchups created by having him and Miller on the field at the same time.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Other than Cortez Allen, Pittsburgh doesn’t have any younger corners that appear destined to develop into starters.

    Ike Taylor is not going to play forever and William Gay, though playing very well right now, could revert back to a cover guy who gets repeatedly burned.

    And an injury right now would actually force the team to put Curtis Brown on the field.

    Any corner the Steelers would draft would be given at least one season to develop before guys like Taylor and Gay move on.

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

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    Mike Evans would definitely be a different style receiver than what the Steelers normally go for in the draft.

    Normally the team goes for the smaller, quicker guys like Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders instead of taller, more physical receivers.

    Ben Roethlisberger would love the pick of Evans because of the receiver's size; he could become Big Ben's security blanket with his ability to catch passes over defenders.

    Maybe adding a different type of receiver in Evans would give some life to an offense that has looked pretty bad for most of the 2013 season.

David Yankey, G, Stanford

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    Ramon Foster hasn’t played especially terribly, but that doesn’t mean he should be immune to having his job taken away.

    The entire Steeler offensive line has had moments this year in which it looked just ridiculously awful, and as I’ve said in previous slides, the team needs to just go out and address this problem.

    The Steelers already have one former Stanford offensive lineman in David DeCastro, and current Cardinal guard David Yankey would be a nice addition as well.

    Yankey could be the best guard in the draft, and if he was there in the second round I would definitely consider taking him.

Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida

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    The Steelers need to add playmakers, period, especially in a secondary that has one only interception from a cornerback and three overall.

    Loucheiz Purifoy would definitely need time to develop, but he could eventually emerge as a starter next to Cortez Allen.

    The cornerback position is going to become a huge priority very soon with Ike Taylor getting older and William Gay better suited as the No. 3 corner.

    Curtis Brown could all of a sudden develop, but at this point he looks like he’ll amount to nothing more than a special teams player.

Travis Swanson, C/G, Arkansas

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    It has been painfully obvious this season that the Steelers lack playmakers on the offensive side of the football, especially at receiver.

    Antonio Brown is solid at best, Emmanuel Sanders is inconsistent and Jerricho Cotchery is in the twilight of his career.

    The Steelers don’t have one guy right now who can go out there and just dominate in the passing game, and after this season, they also could lose Sanders to free agency.

    Sammy Watkins definitely has the potential to be that type of game-changing receiver in the NFL and would definitely give a lift to the Steelers' aerial attack.