2014 NFL Mock Draft: Steelers add to cornerback depth, select Darqueze Dennard

Jonathan Daniel

Dennard should be considered a legitimate candidate for the Steelers with the 15th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. With free agency starting, though, that could change in just a few hours.

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler targets what appears to be the focal position of the Steelers' offseason in his most recent NFL Mock Draft.

It's the focus if you ignore the fact the team cut one of its starting outside linebackers, and gave a $9.75 million transition tag to the other starter.

The cornerback position has seen its share of activity, having agreed to a paycut with Ike Taylor and is the subject of free agency rumors involving Alterraun Verner and Nolan Carroll. Despite those alleged attempts to upgrade the position, Brugler feels the Steelers will address the position with the 15th overall pick - Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard.

His reasoning:

The Steelers have needs all around their defense and although they usually address the cornerback position in the middle rounds, Dennard might be too attractive to pass up with this pick.

That very well could be the case. He can make a good argument of being the best combination of priority position and best player available. Still, the 15th overall pick seems a tad high for a boundary corner who, oddly, makes plays on the ball but doesn't create turnovers.

Maybe that's nitpicking. A boundary corner does translate well to the edge-setting needed in the Steelers' 3-4 defense, and with deep help usually being provided from a cover 2 look, Dennard's ability to trail and play back on the ball could be well-utilized.

It's the last mock draft we'll run before free agency starts, and things may change quite a bit by the time we run another one. For now, though, Dennard has to be considered among the clubhouse leaders for the Steelers' first round pick.

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