For those fans who still might believe the Pittsburgh Steelers are a team who runs a 3-4 base defense, you might want to think again. Pittsburgh, like the majority of the NFL, has become a sub-package team. In fact, Pittsburgh seemed to lean towards a 4-2-5 defensive alignment last season, with versatile down linemen who dropped into coverage at times, and all had the ability to rush the passer.
The Steelers defensive front requires versatility, and not the systematic positional needs they once had under long time coordinator Dick LeBeau.
You didn't see Casey Hampton lining up as a defensive end in early 2000s, nor did you see Aaron Smith flexed out as a more natural end or even placed in the interior almost as a pseudo nose tackle. The NFL is evolving, and defenses are evolving with it. It is no surprise the Steelers are looking to add to their growing arsenal of versatile defensive linemen in this year's 2016 NFL Draft.
One of the players who impressed at the Senior Bowl was Louisiana Tech defensive end/nose tackle Vernon Butler -- who the Steelers held a formal interview with at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The 6-foot 4-inch 325-pound lineman can play both nose tackle and defensive end, something which certainly is attractive for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Butler could be a quality addition to the Steelers defensive front with the likes of Stephon Tuitt and Cameron Heyward already in place, not to mention the likelihood of Steve McLendon possibly leaving the team via free agency.
Butler is projected as a first round draft pick, and many feel he could be off the board before the Steelers select 25th overall, but if he falls to the Steelers it would be a solid pick for a team looking for a difference maker in 2016, and not a project for the future.