Steelers Draft '15: Offensive Line

The Steelers are searching for a quality and versatile reserve in the middle rounds.

Let's look back at the Steelers' only playoff game in the last three years.

Playing at home, where the din is supposed to help the home defense, the Steelers had only one sack and caused only one turnover.

The Baltimore Ravens, playing on the road, had five sacks and forced four turnovers. Sacks matter.

Pressure matters.

Getting kicked around by Haloti Ngata, Brandon Williams, Chris Canty, Courtney Upshaw, Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil and Pernell McPhee should matter. In the off-season.

That said, if the Steelers cannot find value to help their pass rush in the first round, perhaps they can help their offensive line. And it's an outstanding list of high to mid-R1 offensive tackles in Brandon Scherff, La'el Collins, Andrus Peat, Ereck Flowers, D.J. Humphries, T.J. Clemmings and Jake Fisher.

But, alas, the Steelers don't seem interested in a tackle. From the lack of visiting tackles and the sound of the aforementioned saying "no" to questions about Steelers' Combine interest, it appears the team feels set with the triumvirate of Kelvin Beachum, Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams.

It's the interior that the Steelers are seemingly intent on upgrading.

The only visiting offensive lineman so far has been West Virginia guard Quinton Spain (6-4, 330), a captain, owner of 39 career starts and someone who figures to get a look with the Steelers' compensatory pick at the bottom of the sixth round.

The Steelers have also shown public interest in Florida's Max Garcia (6-4.1, 309), who as a center last season was team captin and co-offensive MVP. Garcia has high football character and leadership skills and played all five positions at Florida.

Garcia might be the kind of versatile reserve they're seeking. But if they want a player to eventually start, they could look a round earlier at someone such as Shaq Mason (6-1.5, 310) who helped tear open running lanes in Georgia Tech's option attack.

Mason is a nasty, powerful, pulling guard whose drawback is that he's short and doesn't have refined pass-blocking technique. But that's why line coach Mike Munchak is with the Steelers. And, really, height has never been much of a factor for the Steelers and their interior offensive linemen.

It's the guess here that in spite of the rich vein of offensive tackles that could give the Steelers a quality choice at pick 22, they're instead going to add a mid-round guard.

And, hey, the Ravens lost Ngata and McPhee in free agency. Perhaps a mid-round reserve guard is all the Steelers need to catch up to a Ravens team that was far more physical last season.

Or, perhaps not.

TOP FIVE (TACKLES)

1. La'el Collins, 6-4, 305, LSU.

2. Andrus Peat, 6-7, 313, Stanford.

3. D.J. Humphries, 6-5, 307, Florida.

4. Ereck Flowers, 6-6, 329, Miami.

5. Jake Fisher, 6-6, 306, Oregon.

TOP FIVE (INTERIOR)

1. Brandon Scherff, 6-5, 319, Iowa.

2. Cameron Erving, 6-5, 313, Florida State.

3. A.J. Cann, 6-3, 313, South Carolina.

4. Laken Tomlinson, 6-3, 323, Duke.

5. Ali Marpet, 6-4, 307, Hobart.

STEELERS VALUE BOARD

Fourth Round -- Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech; Jamil Douglas, Arizona State.

Fifth Round -- Max Garcia, Florida.

Sixth Round -- Quinton Spain, WVU; Andrew Donnal, Iowa.

Seventh Round -- Adam Shead, Oklahoma.


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