Nov 9, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish nose tackle Louis Nix (1) walks to the sideline in the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field. Pitt won 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Could Pittsburgh Steelers Target Louis Nix III?

Apr 20, 2013; Notre Dame, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish nose tackle Louis Nix (1) gestures before a two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter of the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Since the 2013 season ended for the Pittsburgh Steelers, there has been much debate over which way they should go with their first round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Myself and colleague Matt Gajtka are both targeting secondary help as Gajtka selected Alabama junior safety Ha’Sean “Ha Ha” Clinton-Dix in the first FanSided Mock Draft of the season.

However, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. went a different route in his first mock as he had the Steelers looking to beef up on the defensive line.

Kiper had space-eating defensive tackle Louis Nix III going to the Steelers with the No. 15 overall pick, which was interesting with players such as Clinton-Dix, Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard and Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin still on his board.

This isn’t the first time that Nix has been linked to the Steelers as ESPN’s Todd McShay also has Nix going to the Steelers. The selection would be interesting considering other needs, but also one I would like.

In his first year at replacing Casey Hampton, I felt Steve McLendon was one of the more disappointing players wearing a Steelers uniform in 2013. He was often manhandled by only one blocker and was a big reason why the Steelers defense didn’t have that great of a year against the run. McLendon did some good things along the way, but overall was the weak link among the Steelers’ front seven.

Nix is one of those rare players, with the feet and quickness to be useful within any scheme. He can hold up at the point of attack and handle double-teams, but also can use his hands and has the ability to get off blocks and make a play in the backfield.

That being said, is Nix more like Hampton or more like McLendon?

Nix didn’t exactly dominate while at Notre Dame, so I would be cautious when I look at the potential of drafting Nix or any other defensive lineman for that matter.

While the Steelers do need an upgrade at the nose, I still see too many other needs. I can’t see them going with a nose tackle at No. 15.

One thing is for sure and that’s the fact that you are going to hear plenty of names linked to the Steelers between now and then.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Louis Nix Pittsburgh Steelers

comments powered by Disqus