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Old 04-17-2011, 07:59 AM   #1
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Default Pittsburgh Steelers may need a mid-to-late-round draft pick

Pittsburgh Steelers may need a mid-to-late-round draft pick
by: Jason Harding. Updated April 13, 2011 06:38 PM EST 148 views

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been known for great linebacker play throughout history. Currently this status remains the same.

In a recent ranking poll by ESPN James Harrison is the second best linebacker in the league. Also making the cut for the top 10 was Lamar Woodley. Lawrence Timmons received votes, but not enough for a top-10 finish.

Either way, for the Steelers to have three of the top 15 linebackers in the league is impressive. Knowing this you would assume there is no need to draft a linebacker this year.

However, when you run a 3-4 defense you are always looking at the linebacker position as a need. Plus James Farrior isn’t getting any younger at his inside linebacker position. This year’s class boasts plenty of talent for the Steelers to look at.

If Pittsburgh were to take an inside linebacker I would expect it to be a mid-round selection. Here is a look at a few guys that could be around the fourth and fifth rounds:

Colin McCarthy – Miami
McCarthy is a player that resembles James Farrior the most. He is not the greatest athlete, but makes up for it with his instincts. He is projected to be a late third or early fourth round player, maybe just a bit too high for Pittsburgh’s value.

Casey Matthews – Oregon
If Casey is able to play anything like his brother, Clay from Green Bay, he is most definitely a great value for a 4th round pick. He didn’t get to participate fully in the combine due to a shoulder injury he sustained while working out. In the national championship game against Auburn, Casey showed he has good speed and can make a difference on third down.

Akeem Dent – Georgia
Dent is a great character guy that the Steelers love. He was a team captain and the coaches have nothing but good things to say about him. On the field he is not the most effective in the pass game, but he possesses big pop in the run game. He might be a fifth round talent guy that could be good value for Pittsburgh.

Greg Jones – Michigan State
The Michigan standout was a four-year starter that never missed any games. He is similar to McCarthy with his great instincts. He always finds a way to get into position and make the big stop. The only reason his valued dropped was because of a poor combine and lacks the ideal strength for inside. However, his production on the field at Michigan State speaks volumes for him.

Greg Lloyd – Connecticut

This is not a typo and yes it is Greg Lloyd’s, a former Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker, son. I genuinely don’t expect the Steelers to look at Lloyd because he is a projected seventh round guy, but I thought it would fun to think about old #95 with Lloyd on the back of a Pittsburgh jersey again.

These are just a few guys I like that could be a great value in Pittsburgh. There are a lot more guys that the Steelers may consider for a fourth- or fifth-round talent.

In the draft last season the Steelers added Jason Worilds from Virginia Tech and Stevenson Sylvester from Utah to help the special teams unit and add depth.

This year they may look for some depth behind James Harrison and there are plenty of guys to consider.
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