Mocking the Draft's Dan Kadar recognizes the Steelers' need to continue adding to their assortment of edge rushers.
He's sending Kentucky hybrid DE/OLB Bud Dupree to Pittsburgh with the 24th overall pick.
The Steelers managed to squeeze a little bit more out of James Harrison and Jason Worilds played the most snaps of any outside linebacker for Pittsburgh this season. The catch is Harrison is old and Worilds is a free agent. Dupree could be brought in and set loose in Dick LeBeau’s 3-4.
It would make the third straight year the Steelers have taken a defensive player in the first round, which would be well out of character for them. It would also make a lot of sense for the very reasons Kadar lists here. Whether Harrison comes back is up in the air, but certainly he's not a viable long-term option. With the game Jason Worilds had, and generally speaking, the season he's had, he's likely going to fetch a hefty price in free agency - one the Steelers may not be able to afford.
Arthur Moats is also a free agent, meaning, of the team's four outside linebackers, only one of them is signed next year - Jarvis Jones, the team's first round pick in 2013. He is also, per play, probably the least productive of the group.
While the notion of Dupree being drafted and starting immediately will come with some speculation, you can add it to the speculation 2014 may be the last for Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. The idea of starting again with another coordinator - most likely linebackers coach Keith Butler - is intriguing. Perhaps Dupree can be part of that.