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Steelers ability to land a veteran defensive back in free agency could alter NFL Draft plans

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The Steelers recently hosted free agent defensive backs Patrick Robinson and are hosting Sterling Moore Tuesday. Their ability to land a veteran defensive back could severely alter their draft plans come April.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have not made the splash move in free agency most fans clamor for, but in hindsight the Steelers are rarely big players within the big name free agent market. The Steelers typically look for the value players later in free agency to help bolster depth and build a roster which can have veteran experience while also having an infusion of youth from rookies and younger players.

The 2015 offseason has been no different. Signing DeAngelo Williams to bolster the running back depth is a perfect example of how the Steelers typically function throughout the free agency period. The Steelers are in the process of having multiple defensive backs coming in for visits, starting with Patrick Robinson and now Sterling Moore. The Steelers desires for signing a veteran to fill the void left by Brice McCain who left via free agency are crucial to their plans for the upcoming NFL Draft.

If the Steelers are able to land a player like Robinson or Moore, both of whom have multiple teams interested, they would feel more confident about their defensive back situation heading into the draft. If they were to miss out on either of these players, their draft needs would drastically change. Heading into a season with William Gay, Cortez Allen, Antwon Blake and B.W. Webb certainly doesn't inspire confidence.

It is pretty obvious the Steelers need a pass rushing outside linebacker, and the organization's public appearance at players like Bud Dupree's pro day make it obvious the front office is echoing that sentiment. However, the Steelers also desperately need help on the back half of the defense. Signing Robinson or Moore would allow the Steelers to look for a pass rusher in the first round, and target a defensive back in rounds 2-4.

Fans have to remember a 3-4 defense is only as strong as the pressure put on the quarterback. There was a time when the Steelers won plenty of football games with defensive backs named Dwayne Washington and Chad Scott. If the defense can get to the quarterback, it will improve any team's secondary dramatically. With that said, the Steelers being able to bring in such a veteran presence at cornerback could severely alter the team's plans moving forward.

Patrick Robinson has left Pittsburgh without a deal in place, and Sterling Moore is scheduled to meet with the San Francisco 49ers Wednesday. How the Steelers handle the coming weeks could determine their overall approach to their first round selection at No. 22 on April 30th at the NFL Draft.