Pittsburgh Steelers: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
The Steelers could use some young talent for their defensive line. Casey Hampton was let go. Ziggy Hood is entering free agency and may not be worth re-signing in the long term. Brett Keisel is 35 and has two sacks this season. Cameron Heyward has three sacks in 2013 and only had 2.5 sacks as a backup the previous two seasons. If the Steelers draft Nix, Steve McLendon could move to end.
Nix (6-3, 340) was a stud in 2012. He was a disruptive force at the line of scrimmage, and his stats don't illustrate how much he dominated interior offensive linemen. The havoc Nix caused helped Stephon Tuitt and Manti Te'o to make plays. Nix totaled 50 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, five passes batted and one forced fumble for the season.
In 2013, Nix recorded 27 tackles with two tackles for a loss. He played well against Michigan, totaling four tackles and a tackle for a loss, and was very disruptive at the point of attack. Nix started slowly against USC before playing well in the final three quarters. His contribution to the pass rush is greater than the numbers indicate. Nix is out for the rest of the year after choosing to undergo knee surgery. He had been playing with a torn meniscus and went to Dr. James Andrews to have the knee fixed.