As the build up continues towards the 2015 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers sit in a precarious spot with the No. 22 overall draft pick in the first round. Too high to be able to select from the best of the best, the team is forced to take a wait-and-see approach to who might be left on the board when their turn rolls around. Best player available is a popular slogan, but the Steelers are looking at some key positions on the defensive side of the football as to where they might look on April 30th.
CBSSports.com recently released their complete 7-round mock draft, and taking a look at the players the Steelers are projected to receive, it seems like a pretty solid draft for Kevin Colbert and company. Take a look at who they get and the breakdown of the selection.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State -- Waynes is a dream come true for the Steelers, a team that has seen its identity shift from "defensive powerhouse" to "offensive juggernaut" over the past few seasons.
56. Pittsburgh Steelers: Hau'oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington -- Kikaha is a Steelers throwback player. Desired athleticism with a non-stop furious nature when asked to get after the quarterback. Following the stunning retirement of outside linebacker Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones entering a put-up-or-shut-up season, Pittsburgh had to add an edge-rusher here.
87. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jaquiski Tartt, S, Samford
121. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jeremy Langford, RB, Michigan State
160. Pittsburgh Steelers: Austin Shepherd, OT, Alabama
199. Pittsburgh Steelers: Zach Wegenmann, EDGE, Montana
212. Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory): Mark Glowinski, OT / OG, West Virginia
239. Pittsburgh Steelers: Derrick Lott, DL, Chattanooga
So, for those scoring at home, the Steelers were able to draft a top-tier cornerback, 2 pass rushers, a safety, two offensive linemen, a running back and a defensive lineman according to this CBSSports.com mock draft.
To analyze these projections, the Steelers would be addressing some glaring needs within this draft class. Getting a cornerback like Trae Waynes would be a major boost for the Steelers' secondary in 2015, but also added a pass rusher in the second and a safety would be beneficial to the defensive depth as a whole. Landing a running back like Langford from Michigan State would not only give the team another qualified backup running back, but would help ease the burden of the 3-game Le'Veon Bell suspension.
Although these are merely projections, feel free to give your response on what went right and wrong throughout this mock drafting process. (Editor's Note: GM Kevin Colbert cannot be fired for moves made in a fictional mock draft.)