2014 NFL Draft: Grading each and every Pittsburgh Steelers draft picks

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Round 2, Pick 46: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

Oct 19, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt (7) during the game against the Southern California Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame defeated USC 14-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I like this pick more than most.

The Steelers are extremely thin up front and while the drafting of Tuitt likely spells the end to a possible return of Brett Keisel, it was a need.

He was a guy I targeted in the draft and was all for the Steelers moving down in the first round and targeting a player like Tuitt while accumulating extra picks in the process.

Tuitt is big at 6’5″ and had a slow start to the 2013 season, but really came on late in the season, making him a late first round possibility who ultimately fell to the Steelers in the middle of the second round. He can provide an interior pass rush and play multiple techniques, which figures to be appealing.

He has the impressive combination of length, power and surprising quickness and is a player with tremendous upside.

He totaled 21.5 career sacks in three seasons at Notre Dame and is a good value pick at this point in the draft.

While I like Tuitt and think he will be a good fit in the Steelers 3-4 scheme, very few times do defensive ends come in and make an immediate impact. We saw Ziggy Hood take a while to produce and even Cameron Heyward took two and a half years before making an impact.

I have doubts whether or not Tuitt will be able to step in and help the Steelers right away, which given their lack of depth up front is something they need, but overall I like the pick.

Grade: A-