Steelers look toward Combine for different NFL Draft options
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Steelers haven't missed on a first-round pick since taking receiver Troy Edwards 13th overall in 1999, and this is not the year to break that streak.
The Steelers have short- and long-term needs at various positions, including offensive line, defensive backfield and inside linebacker.
They and the rest of the NFL get an up-close look at more than 300 prospects — including a record 65 underclassmen who declared for the draft — at this week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Priorities could shift — or become more pronounced — depending on what the Steelers do with veterans such as inside linebacker James Farrior, nose tackle Casey Hampton and receiver Hines Ward before March 13, when free agency begins.
The draft appears to set up well for the Steelers.
General manager Kevin Colbert said this year's draft is deep at cornerback and receiver. The Steelers may need to add more than depth in the latter, especially if Pro Bowler Mike Wallace gets away as a restricted free agent.
Cornerbacks are coveted by all teams in today's pass-happy NFL, even the Steelers, who last year drafted Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown, both of whom appear to be keepers.
Even better for the Steelers is Mike Mayock's take on the draft. The NFL Network analyst said the draft is loaded with defensive tackles and interior offensive linemen, and those are arguably two of the Steelers' biggest needs.
What is important to remember, as players' stock can easily rise and fall this week, is that the combine is just part of the evaluation process, a process that still has almost two months to play itself out.
First-rate (and round) talents
Here are five players to watch at the NFL Scouting Combine, given the needs the Steelers are likely to address in the draft:
David DeCastro, G: The Stanford product is widely considered — at least for now — the top interior line prospect. DeCastro could start from Day One, which makes it likely he will be gone before the Steelers pick in the first round.
Cordy Glenn, G: The 6-6, 346-pound Glenn from Georgia has been linked to the Steelers in mock drafts, and he has the size and athletic ability to dominate at guard after playing tackle last season. Glenn's versatility also would be a plus to the Steelers.
Dont'a Hightower, LB: A consensus All-American at Alabama, Hightower is a classic run stuffer. The 6-4, 260-pounder would make the Steelers think about taking him if he is still available at No. 24.
Dontari Poe, DT: The 6-4, 350-pounder is considered a bit of a project after playing three seasons at Memphis. But he also has been linked to the Steelers, given his upside and the team's need at nose tackle.
Devon Still, DT: He had a monster senior season at Penn State, recording 17 tackles for losses, but he is only a good fit for the Steelers if he can play nose tackle. The 6-4, 310-pound Still could be gone before the Steelers pick.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Ex-Steeler Sanders living up to his word
- Robinson: Rooney retains North Side roots
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Play to watch: Colts, Luck like to confuse defenses
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
- Steelers’ Adams delivers in pinch against Texans
- Steelers looking for Spence to step up game at inside linebacker
- Steelers’ Pouncey, brother won’t be charged in July fracas
- Steelers notebook: Young players provide big challenge for special teams coach
- Play of the week: Texans find success with zone stretch running attack