Going off recent history, the Steelers will draft an offensive player in first round

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Not since before Mike Tomlin's time have the Steelers drafted on the same side of the ball in consecutive years. If they were going to break that streak, 2014 is the year.

The Steelers made the surprising decision to trade up in the 2006 draft to grab Ohio State wide receiver Santonio Holmes with the 25th pick. Languishing at 32, coming off a Super Bowl championship, the Steelers gave up a third round pick to move up seven spots.

Holmes would eventually become a Super Bowl MVP and wear out his welcome in Pittsburgh. Both of those situations are much better known than the fact he represents the last time the Steelers selected players on the same side of the ball in the first round of consecutive drafts.

They had taken Heath Miller in 2005. Since then, the Steelers took linebacker Lawrence Timmons, running back Rashard Mendenhall, defensive end Ziggy Hood, center Maurkice Pouncey, defensive end Cam Heyward, offensive guard David DeCastro and outside linebacker Jarvis Jones.

Sticking with that trend, they're poised to draft an offensive player in 2014.

Right?

If they do draft an offensive player, that won't be the reason, but there is some rationality behind trying to balance a team in that sort of manner. Perhaps if they are still stuck on two players after five different tiebreakers to decide the pick, they play that card, but considering that as a top criterion for the decision doesn't seem feasible.

The Steelers still have four first round picks on the offensive side of the ball (DeCastro, Pouncey, Miller and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger) with four first round picks (Heyward, Jones, Timmons and safety Troy Polamalu) starting on the other side.

That seems fairly balanced, age and importance of position.

It's perhaps a happy coincidence most would agree the two biggest positions of need in this draft for the Steelers are cornerback and wide receiver. Prospects like CBs Darqueze Dennard, Justin Gilbert and Kyle Fuller along with WRs Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks and Kelvin Benjamin volley between each other for the fans' consideration for the 15th overall pick.

With the draft nine days away, the Steelers are making final preparations on their decision tree for the 15th pick. Speculation will lead up until the pick is announced May 8 in New York City.

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