5 Pittsburgh Steelers Who Will Struggle in 2014

5 Pittsburgh Steelers Who Will Struggle in 2014

Ike Taylor
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now about a month and a half away from opening training camp. Will they finally get over the hump and back into the postseason in 2014? These five players could prevent that from happening.

5. Marcus Gilbert, Right Tackle

Marcus Gilbert
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

5. Marcus Gilbert, Right Tackle

Marcus Gilbert
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert's first full season as a starter could have gone worse. On the same token, it could have gone much better as well. Ranking as Pro Football Focus' No. 44 highest rated offensive tackle, Gilbert fared well in pass protection, but struggled mightily as a run blocker. I wouldn't expect drastic improvement in 2014.

4. Martavis Bryant, Wide Receiver

Martavis Bryant
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

4. Martavis Bryant, Wide Receiver

Martavis Bryant
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Fourth-round pick Martavis Bryant, a wide receiver prospect from Clemson who possesses a jaw-dropping blend of size and speed, is expected to compete for a starting role as a rookie. To expect a highly productive first year from Bryant would be unwise, however. He's simply too raw of a pass catcher and route runner to likely be anything more than a project to develop at this point.

3. Ike Taylor, Cornerback

Ike Taylor
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

3. Ike Taylor, Cornerback

Ike Taylor
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

At 34 years old, Ike Taylor is one of the league's oldest starting cornerbacks. It's certainly beginning to show. In 2013, Taylor gave up more receiving yards than any corner in the entire NFL, grading as Pro Football Focus' 14th-worst player at the position. He might not be able to hold down the starting spot opposite William Gay for the entirety of 2014.

2. Kelvin Beachum, Left Tackle

Kelvin Beachum
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

2. Kelvin Beachum, Left Tackle

Kelvin Beachum
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers are going to continue to roll with Kelvin Beachum on Ben Roethlisberger's blindside. That's certainly not an irrational move, as Beachum held his own in pass protection last season, but it is a move with limited upside. As an undersized left tackle, Beachum was dominated on running plays in 2013.

1. Ryan Shazier, Inside Linebacker

Ryan Shazier
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ryan Shazier, Inside Linebacker

Ryan Shazier
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

First-round pick Ryan Shazier enters the NFL with loads of potential. His athleticism -- most notably, his speed -- is off the charts. He's also a bit raw and undersized, unfortunately. He'll likely start Week 1 next to Lawrence Timmons, but projects as a liability against the run initially.


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