With Free Agency slowing down and many of they key moves already made, it’s time to take a detailed look at each teams acquisitions and losses and gauge a plan of attack for how they should approach the first three rounds of this year’s draft. We’ll start with the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and work our way all the way down to the lowly Kansas City Chiefs and the first overall pick. *Page will be updated as more moves are made.
Team Needs: S, CB, RB, WR, OLB, ILB
Free Agent Losses: WR Mike Wallace, G Willie Colon, RB Rashard Mendenhall, CB Keenan Lewis, S Ryan Mundy, S Will Allen
Free Agent Acquisitions: ILB Larry Foote (resigned), G Ramon Foster (resigned), TE Matt Spaeth, WR Plaxico Burress (resigned), CB William Gay, RB Jonathan Dwyer (resigned), LS Greg Warren (resigned), QB Bruce Gradkowski, TE David Johnson (resigned), LB Stevenson Sylvester (resigned)
Potential Round 1 Targets: S Kenny Vaccaro, CB Xavier Rhodes, CB Desmond Trufant, RB Eddie Lacy, WR Tavon Austin, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Keenan Allen, LB Alec Ogletree, LB Manti Te’o, LB Arthur Brown, OLB Jarvis Jones, OLB Barkevious Mingo
Potential Round 2 Targets: OLB Jamie Collins, OLB Damontre Moore, S Shamarko Thomas, S Eric Reid, S DJ Swearinger, CB Jamar Taylor, CB Blidi Wreh-wilson, CB Robert Alford, CB Johnthan Banks, WR Robert Woods, WR Aaron Dobson, WR Quinton Patton, WR Terrance Williams, RB Montee Ball, RB Christine Michael
Potential Round 3 Targets: S Baccari Rambo, S Shawn Williams, S Philip Thomas, WR Stedman Bailey, WR Tavarres King, WR Kenny Stills, CB Jordan Poyer, CB David Amerson, CB Tyrann Mathieu, CB BW Webb, CB Darius Slay, LB Kiko Alonso, LB Kevin Reddick, LB John Bostic, OLB Brandon Jenkins, OLB Corey Lemonier, RB Le’Veon Bell, RB Giovani Bernard, RB Andre Ellington, RB Mike Gillislee, RB Marcus Lattimore
Plan of Attack: The Steelers are sitting smack dab in the middle of the Draft this year and have plenty of areas they can address with that 17th overall pick. They lost Mike Wallace in free agency and could look for his replacement. There is a slim chance West Virginia’s Tavon Austin could be on the board but more likely they could be looking at Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson is a big target who is extremely raw. He has only one year of division one football but he has a very high ceiling. He is explosive and dynamic with the ball in his hands, and a team with a solid QB like Ben Roethlisberger in place would be a great landing spot for him. The Steelers could also consider a safety like Texas’ Kenny Vaccaro but he could be sniped by the Rams just before they pick. They may also add a corner with size and Xavier Rhodes from FSU could be the choice. The Steelers would also like to get younger at inside linebacker and could look at Georgia’s Alec Ogletree or even Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o. They may also grab a pass rusher here to replace James Harrison and if Jarvis Jones slides to them, it’d be a fairly easy choice. Eddie Lacy, the top runner in the draft, could also be a wildcard for the Steelers in round 1.
If the Steelers get a receiver in the first round then they will be looking long and hard at defense in round two. A boom or bust player they could think about would be Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore. Moore had a big year last season but his work ethic is very poor. The Steelers could take him and let Mike Tomlin motivate this guy to reach his immense potential. They could also look for a safety here and would love either DJ Swearinger or Eric Reid, both love to lay a good lick on a ball carrier. If the Steelers go defense in round one, they could look at a wide receiver here. Quinton Patton from Louisiana Tech would be a good fit as would USC’s Robert Woods. The Steelers may also see Wisconsin’s Montee Ball as a potential feature back and could take him in Round 2.
In round 3, the Steelers could look for an inside linebacker if they haven’t gotten one by now. Oregon’s Kiko Alonso would be the top option, and if he’s gone then UNC’s Kevin Reddick could be an eventual replacement for rapidly aging Larry Foote. If they still need a pass rusher at this point, then FSU’s Brandon Jenkins or Auburn’s Corey Lemonier could be targets. A big versatile corner/safety tweener like NC St.’s David Amerson could also be someone they look at in round 3. The Steelers could find plenty of running backs at this point in the Draft as well. Michigan St.’s Le’veon Bell or Clemson’s Andre Ellington are both players who could fit in with what the Steelers like to do on the ground. There would also be receivers available to the team here, if they haven’t landed one yet, with Stedman Bailey and Kenny Stills being solid choices.