2014 NFL mock draft: SB Nation has Steelers looking tackle

Gregory Shamus

Confusion exists over which tackle they see playing where, but early speculation is fun speculation.

It's funny to see mock draft coming out with no heed paid to draft order (rarely even an explanation), or a clear understanding of the basics of a team - such as, which players play where.

An SB Nation mock draft made recently by Dan Kadar puts Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan to Pittsburgh, which I believe is the second consecutive year the web site has mocked Lewan to the Steelers. Lewan announced he would return to Michigan for his senior season last year, after the mock was made.

Kadar notes as his reason for putting Lewan in Pittsburgh (again):

It's true the Steelers have used several early round picks on offensive linemen since 2010. Several of them just haven't panned out. The thought of the big, nasty Lewan lined up next to David DeCastro would improve the running game greatly and keep quarterback Ben Roethlisberger upright.

Whether intentional or not, Kadar (who did not respond to requests for clarification via Twitter) is indicating Lewan is a right tackle, considering David DeCastro (who apparently is not one of the "several who didn't pan out") plays right guard.

It's not silly to see Lewan as a right tackle, but if the Steelers select an offensive lineman in one of the first two rounds for the fourth time in the last five years, we may have to start looking into when Matt Millen began running this team. It's not out of question, but the Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy philosophy of shooting until you make it doesn't apply well to a team in need of depth across the board.

Kadar's co-hort, Matthew Fairburn, mocked Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandjio to Pittsburgh, because at that point, Kouandjio, not Lewan, was their "second rated tackle prospect."

Fairburn's reasoning:

The Steelers have failed to address the offensive line in recent years, and the lack of protection has compounded into a tough couple of years for Ben Roethlisberger. Alabama offensive Cyrus Kouandjio is far from perfect but has plenty of room to grow as a blocker.

It's difficult to argue the Steelers have "failed to address" the offensive line. Four of their five starters in Week 1 were draft picks from 2010-12. Perhaps the Steelers failed to "draft players who played at a Hall of Fame level in Week 1." That can be argued, but it seems irrelevant, considering Fairburn projects the tackle least likely to be ready to play in Week 1 to Pittsburgh - seemingly by his own admission.

These picks will change based on what the national directors of draft opinion filter down to the Kad-Burns of the world, and perhaps they'll even have studied the actual rosters of the teams they're selecting for.

It's fun Friday fodder though.

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