The Pittsburgh Steelers have wrapped up a long and painful season that ended in missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Steelers are now starting their offseason preparations and have already done so by signing seven players to their reserve/future roster (RB Alvester Alexander, WR Justin Brown, G Bryant Browning, G Chris Hubbard, WR Kashif Moore, S Ross Ventrone and LB Kion Wilson).
After their 8-8 season, the Steelers have earned the No. 15 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft that will take place this May. The question is what will the Steelers address first in the draft? Offensively, the Steelers caught fire in the second half of the season, but on defense, the Steelers did not finish on top where they are usually placed.
The offensive line still has its questions although it became stronger as the year progressed. A solid tackle could fit nicely with the offense while Kelvin Beachum has proven to be versatile in the past and could move into another position. Beachum was the best left tackle for the black and gold — proving himself over Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert.
Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will be an unrestricted free agent unless the Steelers find space in their tight salary cap for someone who is expecting a payday. Although the Steelers drafted Markus Wheaton in 2013, the rookie only recorded six catches all season. Jerricho Cotchery is also a free agent in 2014.
On the defense, the Steelers hold some of the oldest players in the secondary compared to the rest of the NFL. Ryan Clark (34), Troy Polamalu (32), and Ike Taylor (33) made up an aging group of defensive backs for the Steelers in 2013. Clark will be a free agent while Polamalu enters the last season of the contract extension he signed in 2011.
Right now, some of the biggest names at these positions in the country are: T Jake Matthews (Texas A&M), WR Sammy Watkins (Clemson), CB Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State), WR Marqise Lee (USC), OT Cameron Erving (Florida State), CB Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State). Is it possible the Steelers call one of these names on draft day?