- John Clayton, NFL senior writer
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The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for the eventual replacement for 32-year-old tight end Heath Miller, and it appeared that was going to be Maxx Williams until the Ravens traded up in the second round and snatched Williams a spot ahead of Pittsburgh.
The Steelers addressed the position on Saturday by drafting Penn State tight end Jesse James in the fifth round. He probably isn't Miller's replacement, but he's a heck of a story.
He is a home-grown talent who played high school ball at South Allegheny High and grew up in Glassport, Pennsylvania. He's a 6-7 tight end who can block and be an occasional red zone threat. He could push Matt Spaeth in the future for a backup job.
It was very much a defensive-leaning draft for the Steelers, whose explosive offense added only James and receiver Sammie Coates, who was taken in the third round. Coates may not be expected to produce much immediately, but the potential is there to develop into a playmaker.
Overall, the 2015 draft wasn't perfect for the Steelers.
They stole outside linebacker Bud Dupree, a pass-rusher who could have gone in the top 10 but lasted until the 22nd pick.
Adding him to the already-talented, young linebacking corps was a stroke of luck, but the personnel department had to work hard for the rest of the draft.
The Steelers took cornerback Senquez Golson with the 24th pick of the second round.
The most important accomplishment was the Steelers started the reconstruction of the secondary, which lost Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor to retirement. Defensive backs coach Carnell Lake likes the additions of Golson and Doran Grant. Both are cerebral players and both are playmakers. Golson is the interceptor. Grant is a good tackler.
Lake has no problem with their lack of height (Golson 5-8 5/8 and Grant 5-10). Lake played with Deshea Townsend, who was a 5-10 mainstay in the Steelers secondary for 12 years.
The Pittsburgh Steelers addressed the tight end position on Saturday by drafting Penn State tight end Jesse James in the fifth round