The NFL Draft is upon us. The one "sporting event" if you will where there is less action than a round of golf, yet everyone gets excited about it. The Pittsburgh Steelers come into this draft in a rebuilding year. Like it or not, that's what it is. The Steelers showed their age last season, especially on the defensive side of the ball. So here is what I want the Steelers to do in the draft. This is different than a mock draft. Mock drafts are always wrong even though they're filled with what is expected to do. My picks will surely be wrong as well but I expect them to be. This is just a wish list.
Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
James Farrior is no longer a Steeler after being one of the most successful free agent signings that the team has made in recent year. Lawrence Timmons had an atrocious season last year. And currently, Farrior's spot is up for grabs between Larry Foote who is nothing spectacular and Stevenson Sylvester who has only played special teams in his career. Hightower was a defensive captain in college and played for two National Championship teams. He would be ready to step in and play right away.
Second Round: Kelechi Osemele, OG, Iowa State
Osemele could be an interesting pick for multiple reasons and the Steelers may want to even pass on improving the offensive line in the second round. A lot of people want the Steelers to address this in the first round but defense is a bigger need. Osemele could provide a lot of the same issues that the Steelers saw with Chris Kemoeatu. He could definitely use some improvement in his pass protection. However, he comes in as an excellent run blocker which could translate well since upper management wants the Steelers to move back to a balanced style of offense.
Third Round: Josh Chapman, NT, Alabama
The Steelers continue to load up on Alabama defensive players with this pick as a potential replacement for Casey Hampton. Hampton will be coming off knee surgery. He's also going to be 35 years old which is a bad combination for a man of his size. Steve McLendon is still an unproven commodity at the position. Nose tackles are not easy to find in the draft. Chapman would provide good depth and continue to improve and make the middle of the defense younger.
Fourth Round: Coryell Judie, CB, Texas A&M
William Gay has moved on to Arizona which leaves the Steelers with a lot of young guys at the corner position. It is still unknown who is going to work out and who isn't. Judie is a value pick as he would likely be drafted much higher if it weren't for some injury issue. He's a relatively big corner which the Steelers like.
Fifth Round: Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State
Rashard Mendenhall will be coming off of ACL surgery. Isaac Redman is a bigger back and will need someone to spell him every once in awhile. Hillman would be a good option for a change of pace.
Sixth Round: Lucas Nix, OG, Pittsburgh
Guard is the biggest weakness along the offensive line for the Steelers. That is why they will take two of them in the draft to give them options as well as depth.
Seventh Round: Derek Moye, WR, Penn State
No idea if he will last this long or not be drafted at all but I went to high school with him so it would be pretty cool to see him as a Steeler.
I would not be incredibly shocked if none of these happen. It's just the direction that I think they should go. But there are reasons why I'm not a general manager.