In trying to determine who is likely to be on the Steelers draft board, I took a look at all of the prospects who could appeal to the Steelers and prioritized them based on the order I think the Steelers would take them if they were available at their pick.
In assembling the list, there had to be a minimum of 18 names since the Steelers pick at the 18th spot, even though at least a couple players who will be selected before the Steelers pick don't make the list, primarily quarterbacks.
I included 22 players on the list on the chance that the Steelers trade back. Considering I don't think they would trade back further than the 24th spot, that is a safe number considering at least two quarterbacks will be off the board by that point.
1. Ndamukong Suh, DT
2. Gerald McCoy, DT
3. Russell Okung, T
4. Bryan Bulaga, T
5. Eric Berry, S
6. Derrick Morgan, DE/OLB
7. Trent Williams, T
8. Joe Haden, CB
9. Rolando McClain, ILB
10. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE/OLB
11. Mike Iupati, G
12. Dan Williams, DT
13. Bruce Campbell, T
14. Kyle Wilson, CB
15. Maurkice Pouncey, C/G
16. Taylor Mays, S
17. Anthony Davis, T
18. C.J. Spiller, RB
19. Brandon Graham, DE/OLB
20. Earl Thomas, S/CB
21. Charles Brown, T
22. Demaryius Thomas, WR
A number of players on this list are obviously out of the question. Barring a monumental surprise Suh, McCoy, Berry, and Okung will not fall far enough to be even considered should the Steelers want to move up.
Morgan, who would be a superb pick, will likely be picked no later than 10th, which would require more than the Steelers will be willing to give up to move up to get. Pierre-Paul will also likely be off the board a bit too early for serious consideration and wouldn't fit as immediate of a need as several other players on the list since he would better fit the mold as a 3-4 outside linebacker than as a 3-4 defensive end.
There are a number of players who the Steelers could eye, but would have to move up to get them. The three players they should consider moving up to get are Bulaga, Trent Williams, and Haden.
All three of these players could be off the board in the first twelve picks. If that happens, the Steelers will not have the ammunition to move up.
But, it is possible that one or two of the players will slide far enough for consideration, with Williams being the most likely candidate.
The first player on this list the Steelers will likely be able to draft with their 18th pick is Mike Iupati. Campbell, Dan Williams, and Pouncey will also likely be available.
Iupati and Pouncey fill immediate needs. Williams would immediately enter the rotation but would likely not start for a couple seasons. Campbell would push for a starting tackle position no later than his second season, pushing Willie Colon inside.
So, what do I think the Steelers will want to do? I think this is a year where they will want to move up to either add a franchise tackle or a blue chip defender to an aging defense.
They will offer up their third round pick to move up three to four positions if Bulaga, Haden, or Trent Williams are still on the board by the 14th pick.
I think they will offer their fourth round pick to move up 1-2 spots if Rolando McClain is still on the board at 16.
If none of these situations come to pass, they'll try to move down a few positions and pick up a third round pick since they would like to add depth to the defense. In doing so, they'll likely lose their chance at Iupati, who I'm guessing they will draft if they stay at 18.
But, I think Pouncey would still be there for them until about the 23rd pick and Campbell may be as well assuming the Raiders don't overreach on him too early based upon his athleticism and workout number.
How do I think it will really play out? I think the Steelers will trade back to the 22-24th spot and will draft Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland.
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