Scouting the linebackers
1. Khalil Mack (OLB)
Buffalo, 6-3, 251
Set FBS records for forced fumbles (16) and tackles for loss (75, tie). Didn't play football until his senior year in high school, but went on to set the Buffalo record with 281⁄2 sacks. Never seems to take a game off and finds way to make plays regardless of where he's lining up or the opponent. His college position coach was former Edinboro coach Lou Tepper.
2. Anthony Barr (OLB)
UCLA, 6-5, 255
Signed with UCLA because he wanted to play running back, so he's still not a polished pass rusher despite having 231⁄2 sacks as a rush linebacker the last two seasons. Had 411⁄2 tackles for loss in only two seasons. Best suited to outside pass rusher in a 3-4.
3. Ryan Shazier (OLB)
Ohio State, 6-1, 237
Relentless and hard-working but sometimes draws u nn ecessary penalties. Can play weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 or be an edge rusher in a 3-4. Led Big Ten with 143 tackles last season; 4 4 1 ⁄ 2 tackl es for loss during his career.
4. C.J. Mosley (ILB)
Alabama, 6-2, 234
Chosen as SEC co-defensive player of year and Alabama MVP. Strength and durability could be an issue, as well as the fact Alabama players often don't make a successful leap to the NFL. Looks to be best suited to being a weakside linebacker in a 4-3.
5. Kyle Van Noy (OLB) Brigham Young, 6-3, 243
Big numbers: 62 tackles for loss, 26 sacks, 11 forced fumbles, seven INTS (2 TDs). Knows how to get to the pocket. Instinctive and naturally strong. Needs to upgrade coverage skills. School forced him to sit out a year following a DUI arrest. Dropped to four sacks in '13.
6. Carl Bradford (OLB)
Arizona State, 6-0, 250
Versatile player capable of playing as an edge rusher in a 3-4 or as a strong-side or middle linebacker in a 4-3. Seen as a second- or third-round pick. Had 201⁄2 tackles for loss and 111⁄2 sacks as a junior.
7. Jeremiah Attaochu (OLB)
Georgia Tech, 6-3, 252
All-time school leader with 311⁄2 sacks. Born in Nigeria. Just turned 21. Good work ethic and takes well to coaching. Played a 3-4 for most of college career but produced even after switch to 4-3 defensive end as a senior (16 tackle for loss, 121⁄2 sacks).
8. Chris Borland (ILB)
Wisconsin, 5-11 1 ⁄ 2 , 248
Is always around the ball — 420 career tackles, 50 for loss — but size and durability are a question, along with 4.82 speed. Missed parts of three seasons with injuries. Physical but lacks range.
9. Shane Skov (ILB)
Stanford, 6-2, 245
Strong tackler who knows how to end plays. Four-year starter who played both middle and weakside LB. Grew up in Mexico. Made 109 tackles, 13 for loss, with 51⁄2 sacks last season. Tore knee ligaments in 2011.
10. Marcus Smith (OLB)
Louisville, 6-3, 250
Led FBS in sacks per game (1.12) last season, when he finished with 141⁄2 sacks and 181⁄2 tackles for loss. Played QB in high school. Doesn't have great size or strength but speed (4.68) isn't bad and can pass rush or drop into coverage.
Best fit for Steelers
They'd love to get Ryan Shazier, given his toughness and aggressiveness, but he'd be a reach at No. 15, and the Steelers have more pressing needs (cornerback and wide receiver). They had him in for a visit. There's probably no way he drops to them in second round, but if he does ...
One to watch
Ryan Jones (6-3, 249) of Montana Tech (NAIA) might be a late-round prize given his athleticism; ran a 4.68 40, has a 34-inch vertical jump and did 28 bench-press reps of 225 pounds at pro day.
He's not exactly local, but Howard Jones of Division II Shepherd — about a three-hour drive from Pittsburgh — nearly went to Mercyhurst. He added 50 pounds in college and ended his career with 71 tackles for loss, eight forced fumbles, four blocked kicks and 341⁄2 sacks, albeit against lower-level competition.