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2016 NFL Draft: Should the Steelers use their first round pick on another Linebacker?

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With so much perceived focus on the secondary, as well as at defensive tackle, would the Steelers spend yet another first round pick on a pass-rushing outside linebacker?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone who follows the draft coverage closely is familiar with Walterfootball.com. Recently, he floated a rumor in his Pro Day reporting section that the Steelers were considering Boise State DE/OLB Kamalei Correa for their first round pick.

Outside linebacker/defensive end Kamalei Correa also met with the Tennessee Titans yesterday and had dinner with the Pittsburgh Steelers last evening.

Correa competed in everything but the 40 and bench press today, touching 34 inches in the vertical jump (33 inches at the combine), 9-9 in the broad jump (9-0 even at the combine), then timing 4.15 seconds in the short shuttle and 6.78 seconds in the 3-cone. As mentioned weeks ago, Correa is getting late first-round consideration.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the teams considering Correa late in Round 1.

The belief from people at Boise State's pro day is the Steelers will take the best defensive back seven player (safety/cornerback/linebacker) when they are called to the clock in Round 1.

Personally I am not a big fan of the Steelers taking Correa with their first round pick, not because of the position he plays but simply because I think that he would be a slight reach with the 25th pick; however, should he be available at pick 58 his value would absolutely be worth it.

Although it's also been reported by Walterfootball.com and Draftinsider.net contributor Tony Pauline that post-combine, Kamalei Correa is drawing Clay Matthews comparisons from NFL executives.
After last Sunday’s workout, I mentioned defensive end/outside linebacker Kamalei Correa as one of the Combine’s big winners and the prediction is becoming reality. Team executives have been comparing Correa to All-Pro Clay Matthews in style and substance. Both measure 6-3 and 240 pounds. Both have lined up at various defensive front seven spots in college and both play with a vicious attitude. In addition to a very good Combine workout, Correa is receiving high grades for his interviews. There’s now a belief the Boise State junior will land in the bottom half of the first round.
But this tidbit is interesting because the perceived interest on the part of the Steelers with regards to the upcoming draft is that their focus, particularly in the early rounds, will be on the defensive line in addition to their needs in the secondary. But would they invest yet another first round pick at linebacker? With four former first round picks at the position already on the roster is their simply enough room for one more? And how could they possibly consider adding to a plethora of talent at the position when there are serious depth issues along the defensive line, as well as needing some long-term starters at both cornerback and strong safety?

Nonetheless, when you step back for a moment it starts to make sense. For starters, the Steelers currently have four former first round picks at linebacker, so you know they seriously value the position above all other defensive positions. Secondly, the Steelers could find themselves needing a long-term starter at right outside linebacker next offseason. If the Steelers fail to pickup the 5th year option on Jarvis Jones, something that has been debated vigorously among Steelers fans, couple that with what should be the definite retirement of James Harrison, then the Steelers would likely go into the 2017 offseason with only Bud Dupree and Arthur Moats as the only outside linebackers with any real game experience.

The Steelers modus operandi has been to draft defensive players at positions of future need, and allow them to sit early and learn behind established starters, peppering them into the rotation as needed whether it be in a relief capacity or in case of injury.

The Steelers could take an outside linebacker in the first round, and still fill their needs elsewhere along the defensive line in addition to the secondary with their remaining draft picks.

Would a draft class that looked something like Correa, Keanu Neal, and Hassan Ridgeway make Steelers fans happy? Add late round picks being spent on some combination of the players they've shown interest in (Harlan Miller, Tavon Young, Derrick Alexander, etc.)?

Most will scoff at the idea, but the truth is the team could easily go outside linebacker in Round 1 if the right prospect is available. If that happens, beware the flock of fans with torches and pitchforks storming the team's headquarters.