A Look at the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Draft Options

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A Look at the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Draft Options
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to have some serious decisions to make this offseason. This is a franchise that has robbed Peter to pay Paul for the past several seasons. It has reaped the benefits of three trips to the Super Bowl and two championships.

No complaints about that, but now that it's time to rebuild this roster, the 2014 NFL draft is the beginning and it is key.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There are really two options the Steelers can explore on draft day. If we assume that the Steelers will continue to struggle, a top-five or top-six pick is all but assured.

From here, it's a matter of make the pick or trade the pick. There will almost certainly be teams interested in the Steelers' first-round pick, especially if there is a quarterback on the board other teams covet. For this exercise, it nets the Steelers an additional second-round pick, which would more than make up for the third-round selection traded away last year so that the Steelers could draft safety Shamarko Thomas.

So, with all that, let's take a look at two different mock draft scenarios for the Steelers based on these two different approaches.

Mock Draft, NoTrades
Round Player Position School
1 Jake Matthews Offensive Tackle Texas A&M
2 Kyle Fuller Cornerback Virginia Tech
4 Cody Hoffman Wide Receiver BYU
5 Ryan Grory Guard Wisconsin
6 Nickoe Whitley Safety Miss. State
7 Colt Lyerla Tight End Oregon

ESPN

And here's a little different look at the same draft, but with a move down in the first round.

Mock Draft Two, One Trade Back w/ Extra 2nd Round Pick
Round Player Position School
1 Antonio Richardson Offensive Tackle Tennessee
2 Eric Ebron Tight End North Carolina
2 Antone Exum Cornerback Virginia Tech
4 Cody Hoffman Wide Receiver BYU
5 Josh Mauro Defensive End/Tackle Stanford
6 Nickoe Whitley Safety Miss. State
7 Dakota Dozier Guard Furman

ESPN

While there are some similarities between the two, these drafts would yield very different groups of prospects. In the first draft, it is obviously risky to even consider Lyerla, but his talent level warrants a pick, and this late in the draft, there is almost no risk if he is unable to get his act together.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Both of these drafts would give the Steelers an upgrade at offensive tackle as well as cornerback right out of the box. The addition of Ebron in the second draft would give the Steelers an heir apparent to tight end Heath Miller. The addition of Hoffman at wide receiver in both drafts, would give the Steelers flexibility when negotiating with wide receivers Jerricho Cotchery and Emmanuel Sanders.

Should the Steelers chose to re-sign safety Ryan Clark, the pick of Whitley in both drafts could be replaced with a running back like Tennessee's Rajion Neal or a massive nose tackle like Zack Kerr from Delaware.

This is a draft class that looks prime for a trade back if the Steelers can swing it. There's not one player in this draft that will fix this team, and so it would be prudent if they could stockpile some picks and do their due diligence to find impact, not project, players.

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