Thought I'd share some thoughts on a couple of the positions bandied about for the first round pick.
PRO: possibly some rare talent on the board, huge need.
CON: The Steelers haven't drafted an OLB in the first in recent memory. Maybe Timmons half counts as he was intended to be an OLB at drafting. Due to the difficulty in assessing the transition to OLB, hard to find a can't miss guy.
PRO: Need to find a Buck LB to replace Foote. Sylvester probably pencilled in at this point and he's not proven to be starter caliber.
CON: Only a handful of prospects potentially worthy of #17. First round defenders are either defensive backs, rare big guys, or pass rushers. Some suitable players available in later rounds, particularly for a big ILB. Foote could be brought back more than likely.
PRO: Possibly some interesting talent on the board
CON: Not a pressing need, 2 starters and a talented backup in the wings already.
PRO: Possibly land a man of rare size this early
CON: Might be a reach for even the best guy, might have enough depth already on the team and Hampton is an option if they want him.
PRO: Need to find a replacement for both starters in the next 2 years. Should be appropriate talent on the board at #17 in Vacarro / Elam
CON: Some (Bouchette) think Safety is not worthy of a high pick. Not sure how you could cover Polamalu and then write that down. Quality guys still available on day 2.
PRO: Will be a serious need if Keenan Lewis signs elsewhere, considering Ike's age. You can always use more corners.
CON: If Lewis re-signs there isn't a starter need at CB. Corner class is not top heavy but deep in day 2 prospects.
PRO: Could use more playmaker ability at RB. Should have pick of the litter at #17
CON: Good productive guys are available later. Maybe the FO wants to show off and dig up some late round gold of their own. Redman and Dwyer are capable if they can stay healthy. If the light stays on for Dwyer in the offseason, he might come in in good shape and have a breakout year.
PRO: Team has definite needs for a true #1, maybe uneasy trusting Sanders to stay healthy. Colbert has a track record of 1st round WR picks.
CON: Might only be one or two options worthy of #17, might not be Steeler guys.
PRO: Heath will be injured and the team could use another talented TE who can block on the line.
CON: Only 2 guys with a prayer of 1st round value. If the team really likes Paulson as reported, they could go with a later round blocking TE to augment the ranks.
PRO: At #17 you finally have a shot at a top tier tackle prospect. Should be good value. New O-line coach might not like Gilbert's potential to be a starter in his scheme. Might consider sliding Gilbert to RG. Currently no depth at OT so need to pick one somewhere in the draft anyway.
CON: Not that I think the FO cares but there have been a lot of high picks on the OL in recent years, time to use it elsewhere. Gilbert and Adams could be the future and we draft a 4th round guy to be a backup.
PRO: Colon is a possible cap casualty and nearly a lead pipe lock as a physical casualty. With Foster unsigned Beachum is your starter at LG. Probably can get the #1 or #2 guard in the class this year. Plug and play instant upgrade that would make the line class of the league in coming years.
CON: Clearly OG of starting caliber can be had later in the draft. Same concerns as OT where you have spent 2 #1's and 2 #2's on the OL in recent years.
That's my rundown. Personally I think WR, S, or OL are the places where it makes the most sense. At RB there are a lot of productive big backs that are slated as round 2 or 3 (Montee Ball, LeVeon Bell, Stepfan Taylor etc). OLB is a possibility but the cream of the crop will likely be gone. I'm not convinced that DE or NT are even worthy of day 1 or 2 draft choice at all.