Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Draft position needs: Inside linebacker
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have nine picks in the 2014 NFL draft and this is the fourth in a series that looks at the nine positions they could address in less than two weeks. Keep in mind that the Steelers are likely to draft two cornerbacks so they may not take a player at every position covered in this series.
2014 NFL DRAFT
Round 1: May 8, 8 p.m. ET Rds. 2-3: May 9, 7 p.m. ET Rds. 4-7: May 10, noon ET
Radio City Music Hall
New York City
Skinny: This is a tricky position to handicap because it’s tough to tell how former third-round pick Sean Spence fits into the Steelers’ plans. Spence has made tremendous progress from a career-threatening knee injury he sustained in August of 2012, but he may never be the player the Steelers thought they drafted two years ago. The Steelers are set at right inside linebacker with Lawrence Timmons but the starting spot opposite him could be wide open. Vince Williams started 11 games at left outside linebacker as a rookie but the Steelers may try to upgrade at the position. They could give Moats a look there even though he will initially play outside linebacker. Alabama’s C.J. Mosley is the only inside linebacker who would make sense for the Steelers in the first round. A couple of players who could interest them in the middle of the draft are UCLA’s Jordan Zumwalt, whom the Steelers hosted for a pre-draft visit, and Michigan State’s Max Bullough.
Draft likelihood: Medium to high
Last ILB drafted by the Steelers: Williams, sixth round in 2013
Last ILB drafted by the Steelers in the first round: Timmons, 2007
Last ILB taken 15th overall in the draft:Brian Cushing, Texans, 2009
ILBs drafted under Kevin Colbert/Mike Tomlin: Five
ILBs drafted under Colbert/Tomlin still with the Steelers: Three