The Pittsburgh Steelers are favorites to win the Super Bowl in 2016, but that doesn't mean they don't have holes on their roster. Some of those holes will attempted to be filled by rookies in the upcoming NFL Draft. NFL.com just released a 4-round mock draft, and in the process they have the Steelers addressing some areas of need throughout their first four selections.
For almost every fan, their draft needs, by position, would look something like this: CB, S, DL, OL, TE and possibly a QB, if the right player is still on the board. This mock draft isn't far off from that list, as it has the Steelers selecting as follows: RD1: CB, RD2: OG, RD3: DL, RD4: TE. Not too far off from what most fans see, in regards to positional needs and wants.
Let's take a closer look at who NFL.com has going to the Steel City in their latest mock draft.
Round 1: PICK 25: Eli Apple - CB, Ohio State
Three of the Steelers' top four corners are free agents, and Cortez Allen is coming off an injury. Eli Apple, coming off his redshirt sophomore season, is just scratching the surface of his potential.
Round 2: PICK 58: Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford
Round 3: PICK 89: Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame
Round 4: PICK 120: Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State
In terms of positional needs, these four picks would be right up Pittsburgh's alley when looking at the free agents the team has on their current roster.
With William Gay, Antwon Blake and Brandon Boykin all set to become free agents in March, the team taking a young and promising CB like Apple from Ohio State would certainly address their need at the cornerback position. The same could be said about taking Garnett in the 2nd round. Ramon Foster could be leaving the team, and adding Garnett to the mix would certainly help to bolster the offensive line in his absence. Not to mention the last time they drafted a Stanford guard, David DeCastro, it turned out okay for the team.
The latter two picks also are ones of need with Day, the defensive tackle from Notre Dame, and Vannett, the TE from Ohio State. For Day, he would be vying for a spot on the team's defensive line rotation, and hopefully helping to keep Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt fresh in their rotation. As for Vannett, with Heath Miller likely entering his final year, Vannett could round out the tight end position depth chart along with Jesse James. Matt Spaeth could be lost in free agency, and Vannett is a solid blocker with a good set of hands to boot. A great compliment to the tight ends already on the roster.
This is merely speculation, and most could argue the Steelers would likely add a pass rusher in the first 4 rounds, but if the chips fall this way for the Steelers, and they play their cards right in free agency, this could help further bolster an already stellar lineup for the 2016 season.