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Thursday, May 1, 2014
Draft position needs: Outside linebacker

By Scott Brown

PITTSBURGH --  The Pittsburgh Steelers have nine picks in the 2014 NFL draft and this is the sixth in a series that looks at the nine positions they could address in a week. 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.

Our sixth look is at outside linebacker

Added: Arthur Moats

Lost: LaMarr Woodley

Skinny: The Steelers have to replenish one of the most important positions on their defense as the outside linebackers on their roster have a combined 24 career sacks -- less than half of what Woodley produced in seven seasons in Pittsburgh. Do they take an outside linebacker in the first round for the second year in a row? I don’t think so but they have done their homework on outside linebackers and defensive ends who project as outside linebackers in a 3-4 scheme. UCLA’s Anthony Barr, Boise State’s Demarcus Lawrence, Oregon State's Scott Crichton and Arizona State’s Carl Bradford are among the outside linebacker prospects the Steelers hosted for pre-draft visits. They also hosted Ohio State outside linebacker Ryan Shazier, though I think he projects as an inside player in a 3-4 scheme. The Steelers will take an outside linebacker prospect at some point, and I think one could be in play for them as early as the second round.

Draft likelihood: High

Extra points

Last OLB drafted by the Steelers: Jarvis Jones first round in 2013

Last OLB drafted by the Steelers in the first round: Jones

Last OLB taken 15th overall in the draft: Bruce Irvin, Seahawks, 2012

OLBs drafted under Kevin Colbert/Mike Tomlin: Six

OLBs drafted under Colbert/Tomlin still with the Steelers: Three