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It's easy to see why teams like the Steelers are always in-search of great pass-rushers

The Steelers may have their choice of cornerbacks during the first round of this year's NFL Draft. However, don't be surprised if a pass-rusher's name is the pick at 22. After all, teams put an emphasis on getting after the quarterback for a reason, and it's usually the only way to truly stop offenses in the modern NFL.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It's not easy to play defense in the NFL. Actually, it seems to grow tougher each and every season.

However, the teams that have defenses that do a good enough job taking the football away, those teams tend to make it very far and often to the Super Bowl. In fact, no Super Bowl-winning team has posted less than 25 takeaways in a regular season.

Takeaways are perhaps the most vital defensive statistic in terms of reaching championship success. But, again, the NFL does no favors when it comes to defenses, and that's certainly the case with defensive backs, who must deal with league executives and game-day officials and their constant vigilance of pass-interference, holding and illegal contact.

Even last off-season, on the heels of the Broncos record-setting offense, in which they became the first team to post over 600 points in 2013 (606), the NFL made defensive holding and illegal contact a point-of-emphasis heading into 2014. Denver lost Super Bowl XLVIII to the Seahawks, who played a suffocating brand of defense during the regular season, the postseason and for 60 minutes at MetLife Stadium in a 43-8 whipping of Peyton Manning and his record-setting offense. By making holding and illegal contact a point-of-emphasis, maybe the NFL was indirectly saying, "We'll have no more of that, Seattle, thank you very much."

If a defensive back can't do much chucking and hand-fighting with a receiver while running down field, this makes stopping offenses almost impossible, especially in the modern NFL, where more and more quarterbacks are entering the league with a pro-level polish, not seen in years gone by.

But, regardless of how easily quarterbacks can make those back-shoulder throws and the great timing passes which became more easily-available in the late '70's, when the league eliminated bump-and-run coverage (the "Mel Blount Rule"), even the great passers don't like pressure and getting smacked around.

And maybe that's why getting after the passer has always been of special importance to NFL teams, as they search each and every year for players who are equipped to do just that.

In the 2014 NFL Draft, six defensive prospects with college resumes that included healthy sack numbers--Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, Anthony Barr, Aaron Donald, Dee Ford and Marcus Smith--were selected in the first round.

Heading into the 2015 NFL Draft, there's an endless list of pass-rushing candidates who could land in the first round, many with glowing draft profiles by both experts and fans, alike. Those outside linebackers and those edge-pass-rushers, the good ones are disruptive forces. They can make Tom Brady look silly and like a mere mortal; they can help cover up warts in the secondary.

The pass-rushing prospects are usually the ones who look like Greek gods in their Under Armour attire and leave fans (and often scouts and coaches) salivating over their freakish athleticism after posting great numbers at the Combine or their pro day workouts.

This is why so many defensive linemen and linebackers are drafted in the top five or 10 each season; if a team hits it big with one, it finds itself a Mean Joe Greene, or in today's perspective, a J.J. Watt (drafted 11th, overall, by the way). Perhaps more than any other position, pass-rushers are drafted on potential, with the hopes they'll develop into a dominant, disruptive defensive presence.

Just the idea of the Steelers selecting Landon Collins, a productive and decorated safety from Alabama, leaves many fans feeling angry and/or outraged. However, the thought of selecting Owamagbe Odighizuwa, an outside linebacker/edge pass-rusher from UCLA, a man who would be considered a first round reach and a project by most experts, that leaves many fans feeling excited over the very possibility.

Chuck Noll spent the entire decade of the 80's and even the early 90's trying to recreate the magic of the '70's Steel Curtain with numerous first round selections--the results left a lot to be desired. However, he knew, like everyone else, that it's hard to generate turnovers and have a Super Bowl-caliber defense if you can't get after the quarterback.

As much as I think the Steelers really should address the cornerback position with a first round pick in this year's draft, if a pass-rusher's name is called, this wouldn't surprise me one bit.

After all, if they hit it big with one...