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As the 2014 NFL abstract approaches, the needs of every NFL authorization are starting to arise into focus. The free-agent signing aeon affords teams an befalling to ample some needs on their agenda and drag their corresponding big boards around.
The aforementioned can be said for the Pittsburgh Steelers. As they accept fabricated moves this offseason, the players they ambition aboriginal in the abstract will change. Pittsburgh has done a nice job abacus aptitude as able-bodied as application aptitude for 2014.
However, a team’s big lath can be impacted by added than aloof chargeless agency. Annual continues to arise in about all of these adolescent men, and not all of it is positive. This can additionally abnormally appulse the abstract banal of a player.
With the abstract beneath than two months away, actuality are some top affairs who are ascent and falling for the Steelers for one acumen or another. That’s not to say these players won’t still be targets of Pittsburgh, but in a abysmal draft, they could be had in a barter down, acceptance the Steelers to accrue added picks.
So let’s booty a attending at some risers and fallers for Steelers fans.
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The Steelers accept fabricated no accomplishment to advancement their cornerback abyss blueprint appropriately far. Fortunately, the cornerback chic in this abstract is abysmal and actual talented. However, afterwards active a 4.37 40-yard birr at the aloof combine, per NFL.com, Gilbert has anchored himself as the top cornerback.
His aggregate of acceleration and breadth is rare. His adeptness to comedy that off-man advantage the Steelers use makes him an ideal fit for Pittsburgh.
If the Steelers should opt to abstract a cornerback in the aboriginal round, Gilbert makes the best sense. This aggregation can allow to accept a amateur comedy a assets role in his aboriginal year, giving him a adventitious to get acclimated to the added concrete attributes of the alliance as a nickel cornerback.
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It’s important to accept that any abatement from a amateur like Texas A&M advanced receiver Mike Evans is not about any abridgement of talent. In a actual accomplished advanced receiver class, Evans’ admeasurement and athleticism puts him amid the actual best in the class.
No, the acumen Evans is falling for the Steelers is because advanced receiver doesn’t arise to be a first-round priority. Pittsburgh already has Antonio Brown, who is amid the top advanced receivers in the league. Afterwards abacus Lance Moore via chargeless agency, admirers can breathe easier that the advanced receiver position is in actual acceptable hands.
That’s not to say if Evans isn’t there aback the Steelers baddest in the aboriginal annular they won’t booty him. Pittsburgh’s advanced appointment about goes for the best amateur available, so if Evans represents the best value, he could still be the pick.
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Pittsburgh’s active aback position is article of a mystery. Le’Veon Bell is absolutely accepted as the starter. This isn’t in question. However, the Steelers charge be academic in how they handle Bell and his carries. Afterwards cutting up 382 carries in 13 amateur his chief year at Michigan State, he averaged about 19 carries per d as a rookie.
With the absolute abridgement of abyss abaft Bell (no added active aback beneath contract), the position appears to be a antecedence already afresh this season. Obviously, afterwards demography Bell with the 48th aces in 2013, the Steelers are not afraid to cull the activate on a amateur they anticipate can contribute.
Ohio State active aback Carlos Hyde looks like the blazon of aback the Steelers ability covet. Hyde is abundant like Bell in that he is big, able-bodied and prefers to bear a blow. If the Steelers are bent to get aback to a ability active game, Bell and Hyde divvying up 24 to 26 carries per d would be perfect.
Drafting Hyde or any active aback would depend on value. However, in agreement of fit, Hyde is ascent mainly because he looks like the absolute accompaniment to Bell in the Pittsburgh offense.
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First and foremost, accept that Michigan abhorrent accouterment Taylor Lewan can play. Make no aberration about that. He is a mauling larboard accouterment anticipation with amazing athleticism. In agreement of fit, Lewan ability be the best of the big three accouterment affairs in this draft.
So why is he falling? Because Lewan is ambidextrous with some off-field issues. With the annual that he has been answerable with one calculation of aggravated advance and two counts of advance or advance and battery, he has put his abstract banal in some jeopardy.
The Steelers accept had to accord with some players who battled non-football apropos in contempo seasons, and it absolutely has not formed out for them. It is adamantine to brainstorm that the Steelers won’t be alert aback evaluating Lewan as a accessible applicant to alpha at larboard tackle.
Fortunately, Lewan will accept his day in cloister able-bodied afore the draft, so should things go able-bodied there, he can mend some fences as far as this would go.
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Understand that during this time of year, there is a lot of misinformation about teams and prospects. However, aback your accepted administrator attends a pro day, there’s a reason. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert was in appearance for the Auburn pro day and had to like what he saw.
Auburn arresting end Dee Ford didn’t get to assignment out at the aloof combine, so this was his aboriginal adventitious to go beneath the microscope. He did not disappoint. Active at a graceful 244 pounds, Ford had an actionable best 40 time of 4.53 seconds, as per Auburn football’s official Twitter account.
Nevertheless, why is he ascent for the Steelers? A brace of reasons. First, above Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones, the Steelers accept actual little in agreement of aptitude at the alfresco linebacker position. Second, Worilds is arena on a one-year arrangement beneath the alteration tag. If he continues to develop, he could amount himself appropriate out of a job in Pittsburgh for 2015.
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Fortunately for the Steelers, they were able to assignment the free-agent bazaar to ster their arresting secondary. Signing Mike Mitchell gives the Steelers a applicable amateur in abode of Ryan Clark and removes assurance as a first-round need. That agency Alabama assurance Ha Ha Clinton-Dix no best needs to be advised a priority.
It appears as if the Steelers assurance position is set for the future. Mitchell should accept the starting chargeless assurance spot, with a aggregate of Troy Polamalu and Shamarko Thomas at the able assurance spot. For all the things Clinton-Dix does well, it’s adamantine to say he’s as accomplished as Mitchell or Thomas as this point.
As accomplished as Clinton-Dix is, there is no acumen to alike accede him at this point. In fact, there’s absolutely no acumen to ambition any assurance in this draft.
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The signing of advanced receiver Lance Moore gave the Steelers an added aptitude amid the advanced receivers. What it bootless to do is accord quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a big, alpine ambition in the casual game.
Considering that any advanced receiver drafted at this point would see bound reps, the Steelers could about-face the focus of their chase to a bound end instead.
North Carolina bound end Eric Ebron is a astounding amateur with absurd upside as a receiver at the bound end position. The Steelers aren’t shy about application two-tight end sets, which would accord Ebron added affairs to be on the acreage over a fourth advanced receiver.
Ebron would represent solid amount as a first-round pick, and he should be a amateur the Steelers accumulate a actual aing eye on in the weeks arch up to May. Heath Miller cannot comedy forever, and above him, the bound end aptitude on this agenda is actual average.
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The Steelers fabricated a move to ster their abyss at central linebacker by signing adept Arthur Moats. While Moats isn’t a amazing talent, he’s a nice, adolescent amateur who looks to be scheme-versatile abundant to be able to aback up both Lawrence Timmons and Vince Williams. He’s array of a adolescent Larry Foote, if you will.
As far as the abstract goes, that makes Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley beneath of a anticipation for the Steelers. While Mosley is accomplished abundant to comedy all four linebacker spots in a 3-4, his approaching appears to be on the inside. With Moats in the fold, it is adamantine to brainstorm Mosley apery the best amount aback the Steelers aces in the aboriginal round.
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