2014 NFL Draft: 5 Late-Round Sleepers the Pittsburgh Steelers Should Target

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2014 NFL Draft: 5 Late-Round Sleepers the Pittsburgh Steelers Should Target

Pittsburgh Steelers - NFL Draft
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers finished last season 8-8 but missed out on the NFL Playoffs due to four straight losses to open the season. In a disappointing season, the Steelers still finished with a 4-2 record in the AFC North, which means that they aren’t far off from competing for a playoff spot. Once again Ben Roethlisberger had a decent year, throwing for over 4000 yards, but injuries hindered the Steelers’ success and left them on the outside looking into the NFL Playoffs despite their impressive division record.

From the 2014 NFL Draft, Pittsburgh needs a young safety they can tutor under Troy Polamalu, a wide receiver to help out Antonio Brown, a backup running back for Le’Veon Bell and a cornerback or two to add depth to the roster. If Pittsburgh can get these pieces, as well as stay somewhat healthy, the Steelers will have a legitimate chance to win the AFC North and return to the playoffs.

Luckily for the Steelers, the 2014 NFL Draft is extremely deep at all of their position needs. They should be able to spend early picks on the best players available and then be able to pick up players who will be able to compete for playing time and meet their needs with their late-round picks. Here are five late-round sleepers that the Steelers should look at in the 2014 NFL Draft. Feel free to comment in the section below if you have any other suggestions for late-round picks that Pittsburgh should take a look at in the draft.

Taylor Sturm is a Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. WR L'Damian Washington – Missouri

L'Damian Washington - Missouri
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers need another WR but not badly enough to waste an early draft pick. Washington is a tall receiver who ran a 4.46 time in the 40-yard dash and could easily become a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver for Ben Roethlisberger immediately. He’s predicted to go in the seventh round.

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4. S Tre Boston – North Carolina

Tre Boston - NFL
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

His athleticism and build scream NFL safety. This is guy is a diamond in the rough, and a veteran defense like Pittsburgh could turn him into an asset very early on in his career.

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3. CB Andre Hal – Vanderbilt

Andre Hal - NFL
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hal is a lot better than he gets credit for. He had an impressive season for Vanderbilt and an impressive combine performance.

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2. RB Rajion Neal – Tennessee

Rajion Neal - NFL
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Neal didn’t show out last season as expected, but he did surprisingly well with a team that basically didn’t have a quarterback. He looks the part of an NFL back and has the athleticism to have success. He could be a good backup.

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1. CB Phillip Gaines – Rice

Phillip Gaines - NFL
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Gaines is very talented. He’s an annoying cornerback who can play right on opponents as well as back off and play coverage. He’s also got the right size for the tough defense that Pittsburgh tends to play.

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  • Milliken Steeler

    Its not deep at OLB and Safety. I think we are due a 3rd, 5th and a seventh round compensatory picks. That being said, if we are careful, we could put together a draft like this.

    1st) (15) Eric Ebron TE 2nd) (46) Kyle Fuller CB 3rd) (Comp)
    Christion Kirksey OLB 4th (114) Yawin Smallwood ILB 5th) (145) Jeff
    Janis WR 5th) (Comp) Deion Belue CB 6th) (176) Kenny Ladler S 7th) (207) Rajion Neal RB 7th (comp) Colvin CB

    In my opinion Colvin is a steal at CB in the 7th and is an insurance policy for 2015 when he is healthy if Fuller or Belue arent up to speed. We now have Ebron as the third TE and who better to learn how to block from, than Spaeth and Miller?

    We picked up Smallwood who is probably the second best ILB in the draft. Kirksey is probably an upgrade over our depth at OLB now and Ladler should be able to make the roster at safety.

    We wanted a tall receiver. Well not sacrificing our top picks we came away with 6’3″ and 220 pound Jeff Janis. He ran a 4.4 forty and here is his combined stats his last two years of college. 200 catches, 3000 yards and 30 TD’s. He is my sleeper and should make the Steeler fans very happy.

    Rajion is a nice back who depending on whether we keep Dwyer, should make the roster and provide depth.

    In my opinion, this is how you plug multiple holes and get good value in a deep draft.