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Mel Kiper mock draft has Steelers going in a new direction

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Pittsburgh was said to possibly look at the "right" kind of offensive tackle if one was available at the 15th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. feels there is one who will be there.


Move over Taylor Lewan, you have a rival for the also-ran predictions for the Steelers' pick at No. 15.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his latest mock draft, version 5.0, Tuesday, and put Notre Dame offensive lineman Zach Martin there.

We've opined about Martin's availability and sensibility at this spot previously. His value is that of a multi-positional lineman, something the Steelers have coveted for several years. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum played center and right tackle last year and filled in as their third tight end as well.

Kiper's response:

In my draft needs piece, I wrote, "Kelvin Beachum could be holding down the left tackle position, and, although Ramon Foster was pretty good last year at left guard, given the injuries the Steelers have dealt with up front the past couple of seasons, I could see an addition at tackle or guard to improve depth." Martin is up there with Joe Bitonio of Nevada for me as perhaps the most versatile offensive line talent in the draft, which is pretty useful for the Steelers. Pittsburgh could go cornerback here, but I don't like the value with the top two off the board. Receiver is also an option.

Lewan goes sixth in this mock, and the top two cornerbacks, Darqueze Dennard and Justin Gilbert, are also gone.

Some of the issue could be all three of the top offensive tackle prospects going in the top 14 - Greg Robinson (2nd), Lewan (6th) and Jake Matthews (9th), along with only two quarterbacks (Johnny Manziel 4th and Blake Bortles 8th) going in the same range. Outside linebacker Anthony Barr fell all the way to 25 (San Diego) and QB Teddy Bridgewater isn't being taken in the first round.