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2014 NFL Mock Draft: Steelers select Missouri DE Kony Ealy

Would the Steelers want to replace Ziggy Hood with another Missouri defensive lineman?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The talk has largely been about pass rushers in the NFL. Logically, defensive linemen and pass-rushing outside linebackers will get a lot of attention through the remainder of draft season.

The Steelers had one of their weakest pass rushing seasons in two decades. With the development of 2013 first round pick Jarvis Jones, perhaps they'll move past that in 2014, but bolstering a depleted defensive line may still be in the cards - particularly with the attacking style the line employed in 2013.

Real GM Football's Jeff Risdon sees it that way. His recent mock draft sent Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy to the Steelers with the 15th pick.

His reasoning:

Ealy brings great versatility to the Pittsburgh front. He has the physical tools to play either the 3- or 5-technique, a hand-in-the-dirt end in a four-man front, or even standing up across the formation as an attack dog linebacker. The Steelers need that type of diverse skill set as they continue to remake the defense.

It doesn't take a draft guru to remember another collegiate defensive tackle being drafted by the Steelers in the first round to play the 5-technique defensive end. position. And wouldn't it be apropos if Ziggy Hood were to leave via free agency to see the Steelers replace his roster spot with a player from the same school and the same background?

Maybe, maybe not. Ealy has good explosion off the snap, and while his highest and best position is probably along the interior of a defensive line, that level of get-off isn't to be ignored either.

Ealy's been up and down in many mocks, and it's not out of the question he's available at 15. Would the Steelers look to repeat history with another Missouri defensive lineman?