The question on many people’s mind when the 2014 NFL Draft resumes Friday night is will be the Pittsburgh Steelers pull off another shocker in the second and third rounds, similar to drafting Ohio State linebacker with the No. 15 overall pick.
Kevin Colbert and his staff can go plenty of directions with the No. 46 pick.
They could target a cornerback and with any luck guys like: Stan Jean-Baptiste, Phillip Gaines, Jaylen Watkins, Lamarcus Joyner or Bashaud Breeland could all be options. Gaines would be my preference but likely could be gone by the time the Steelers select.
There’s also a big need at receiver and several quality ones remain. I would love to get my hands on Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson or Donte Moncrief, but there will likely be an early run on receivers and the Steelers likely feel that they could get one later on.
Then there are issues on the offensive line that always need addressed, but at the end of the day I think Colbert looks elsewhere and targets the defensive line.
More specifically the interior of the defensive line with Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III.
The Steelers need to improve their run defense and it is evident they have that in mind with Thursday’s selection of Shazier.
With that being said, if that is the goal of this draft, the Steelers must improve from Steve McLendon in the middle. Teams were able to handle McLendon with relative ease last season, but more importantly they were able to do so with just one lineman pushing him around like a rag doll.
I was often surprised that McLendon didn’t just line up at safety last season as that is where he often ended up after getting pushed around with relative ease.
Nix is a big body who was often linked to the Steelers throughout the draft process.
He has the rare size at 6’2″, 331 pounds the Steelers are looking for. For a Steelers team that desperately missed former nose tackle Casey Hampton in 2013, an anchor like Nix should be a perfect fit.
Even though the Steelers signed big Cam Thomas in the offseason, a guy like Nix makes some sense long term.
They also could look at depth at the defensive end spot as that, along with cornerback and wide receiver seem to be more pressing needs, but if yesterday showed anything it is that the Steelers may not be concerned with the more immediate pressing needs than getting the players that they feel could help them more long term.
Personally I feel the Steelers should target other areas, but at the end of the day if Nix is available I feel he is their guy.