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Could the Steelers be looking at a Pitt product to help shore up their secondary?

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The Steelers have issues in their secondary, and some analysts predict a Pitt product could be the answer to some of those issues.

NCAA Football: North Carolina at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine has arrived, along with it comes plenty of speculation surrounding what position the Steelers will be targeting in the first round of the NFL Draft. Most have agreed it will be between Safety and Inside Linebacker, but the secondary as a whole could use an upgrade. Joe Haden has been a nice addition with second-year starters, Artie Burns and Sean Davis, but more improvement needs to be done.

Sean Davis put up very impressive numbers this year, particularly in total tackles, but his inflated numbers had a lot to do with Ryan Shazier’s horrific spine injury which took place during a Monday Night game against the Bengals in Cincinnati. While Davis struggled at times, it is safe to say his job is safe heading into 2018. The same cannot be said about Mike Mitchell, whose inflated salary and deflated performances have fans counting the days before his official release.

Artie Burns has been a work in progress himself, but the fact of the matter remains how the pass defense still got exposed in games when it mattered most down the stretch. With Mike Mitchell being a potential cap casualty, and William Gay being an aging veteran who may not be asked to return, the Steelers’ secondary could undergo a lot of change from 2017 to 2018.

What’s really going to be interesting is the new hire of secondary coach Tom Bradley, who will be taking over the former role Carnell Lake. Carnell Lake worked very hard to get the passing defense fixed as they finished fifth in the league, but since the ugly loss to the Jaguars in the playoffs, his decision to hang up the whistle was certainly interesting. Tom Bradley has spent over 35 years at the collegiate level, more in particular at Penn State University. Whether he will be able to help turn things around has yet to be seen.

So, with that said, could the Steelers take a run at a defensive back, cornerback or safety, in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft? It is possible, especially at safety, but some are seeing the team taking a cornerback first overall.

Walter Football is currently projecting the Steelers to select University of Pittsburgh defensive back, Jordan Whitehead. Lance Zierlein, of NFL.com, has described Jordan as a, “hybrid defensive back in sub packages with the ability to cover the slot and handle run support duties against teams who run the ball out of three wideout personnel groupings.” It’s also worth noting he was considered the top recruit in Pennsylvania coming out of high school.

Besides, with the Steelers sharing a facility with the University of Pittsburgh, you have to assume they will have an inside look at prospects like Whitehead. Could they draft a Pitt player for the second year in a row? And would Whitehead be the type of player who could help fill the holes in the Steelers’ defense?

Only time will tell, but there is no doubt the Steelers will have some tough decisions coming this offseason when it pertains to the defensive side of the football.