5 NFL Draft Prospects Who Could Be Instant Starters for Pittsburgh Steelers

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5 NFL Draft Prospects Who Could Be Instant Starters for Pittsburgh Steelers

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Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a record of 8-8 for each of the past two seasons. With the current state of the AFC North being questionable, the Steelers have a good shot at becoming a playoff team again in 2014. Ben Roethlisberger will be leading the way, and a promising running back in Le'Veon Bell is ready to break out. That said, the Steelers have a number of positions which need to be targeted in the 2014 NFL draft.

Firstly, the Steelers should definitely be looking for a playmaking wide receiver. Steelers wide receivers Jerricho Cotchery and Emmanuel Sanders are set to hit the free agency market next month. It's very probable that Sanders will not be in a black and gold uniform in 2014, but the Steelers should be able to reel Cotchery back in.

With Sanders' likely departure, that leaves either Cotchery or Markus Wheaton to assume the no. 2 wide receiver spot. Wheaton didn't play much in 2013, so it does not seem likely that he will get the gig. This leaves Cotchery as the Steelers' no. 2 wideout. He is not a true starting wide receiver. Which means the Steelers have to look at playmaking receivers in the first round who can be effective right away.

Moreover, the Steelers organization could be looking for impactful cornerbacks or defensive lineman in the early rounds of the 2014 draft. Starting cornerback Ike Taylor is in danger of being cut because of his large salary and his bad play in 2013. Defensive end Brett Keisel may not be back for the 2014 season, which could cause the Steelers to draft a defensive lineman early in the draft.

The Steelers may even target offensive tackles or linebackers in early rounds as those positions were lackluster in 2013.

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5. ILB C.J. Mosley

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers inside linebacker Larry Foote only played in one game in the 2013 season. If the Steelers were to draft C.J. Mosley, there's a good chance he could leapfrog ahead of Foote on the depth chart. He is the best inside linebacker prospect of 2014 with top-notch awareness, and he does a very good job of tracking the football.

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4. OT Taylor Lewan

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh has spent a good amount of high picks on offensive lineman over the past few years, which means the Steelers may stray from selecting another one. However, Taylor Lewan has the potential to start over the incumbents on the team. Lewan is very strong off the ball and he knows how to seal the edge on pass plays.

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3. WR Allen Robinson

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Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State wideout Allen Robinson is a physical player. He is very good in traffic and jump ball situations. At Penn State last season, he totaled over 1,400 receiving yards.

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2. WR Marqise Lee

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Marqise Lee, who played at USC, may have the best hands out of all of the 2014 receiver prospects. He is deadly after the catch with great vision and agility. He is very good in tight coverage and can pluck balls out of the air with ease.

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1. WR Mike Evans

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Roethlisberger would love to have Mike Evans. He dominates defensive backs in jump ball situations, much like Calvin Johnson. He is a great red zone target. Evans can track balls over either of his shoulders and his hands are very good. He doesn't have great speed nor is he a polished route runner, but he can be a star in the NFL.


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