Pittsburgh Steelers: 2014 NFL Draft Pick Stephon Tuitt Fills Need

Stephon Tuitt Pittsburgh Steelers

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

In the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted defensive end Stephon Tuitt. He is a good fit for the Steelers’ 3-4 defense, and should have an opportunity to play right away.

With the departure of Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood this year, the Steelers’ defensive line was looking very shaky. Cameron Heyward was, for a time, the only solid starter left on the defensive line. Steve McLendon may be able to play adequately at tackle, but that remains to be seen in the long run.

Spending a second-round pick on a player who possibly could have gone in Round 1 is always a steal, but it becomes especially so when he fits both your need and scheme perfectly. At 6-foot-7 and 313 pounds, Tuitt is a beast in Dick LeBeau‘s scheme. Tuitt and first-round pick Ryan Shazier will make an impact on the field right away with freakish size and athleticism.

Tuitt needs to keep his weight down; from his last game in college to the NFL combine, he lost 28 pounds. Of course, if he doesn’t manage to keep his weight down, the Steelers may be inclined to move him inside to nose tackle where he would fit just as well. The only problem there might be his motor; if he can’t be willing to go every play, then he shouldn’t move there. A nose tackle is crucial to a defense. Without a good nose, the whole defense is vulnerable.

Overall, I love this pick. Every time I read his size I get giddy; I mean, what a talent to get in the second round. And the fact that the Steelers need him as well makes it even sweeter.

Grade: A


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