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The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking at mid-round, Munchak-styled offensive tackles

Smart, versatile tackles with quick feet have been a Mike Munchak signature, and he and the Steelers are on the prowl again.

Since striking gold in 2005 by drafting All-Pro tackles in the second and fourth rounds, Mike Munchak has pretty much looked for the same traits in offensive linemen, particularly at the tackle position.

In fact, the only lineman drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers since Munchak became the offensive line coach, Wesley Johnson, had similar traits as a college prospect to those 2005 bookends, Michael Roos and David Stewart.

Johnson -- the Steelers' fifth-round pick in 2014 -- has quick feet and is a natural knee-bender, smart and versatile. His negative at the time was a lack of strength, which were negatives for Roos and Stewart as well.

Those two succeeded spectacularly, whereas Johnson was cut by the Steelers as a rookie. (However, he's still active with the New York Jets.)

The Steelers are looking once again at mid-round tackles, and the two they've brought in for a visit -- Caleb Benenoch and Jerald Hawkins -- exhibit those similar traits, and have also played multiple positions in college, something teams need from their backups on game day.

Currently, the Steelers have three tackles, with Mike Adams a hopeful fourth. They have three starting interior linemen, with two backups -- Cody Wallace and Chris Hubbard -- who can play both guard spots and center.

So, the offensive line isn't a priority for a team in need of shoring up its defense, but a mid to late-round tackle with position flexibility would provide competition for Adams and the ninth spot on the unit.

Benenoch (ben-en-KNOCK), the 6-5 1/2, 311-pound T/G out of UCLA, is perhaps the best of what the Steelers want out of this draft. Considered as high as a third-rounder by some analysts, Benenoch with his great feet and outstanding knee-bend is a natural for a zone-blocking scheme. He just needs to spend more time in the weight room.

Joe Haeg of North Dakota State is another athletic swing tackle for a zone-blocking scheme. At 6-6, 304 with 60 college starts, Haeg only needs to add strength to become a quality NFL tackle. He's the reigning two-time FCS Offensive Lineman of the Year.

Hawkins, the 6-5 5/8, 305-pounder from LSU, doesn't have quite the feet of the previous two but is stronger, with a better punch, and is a better drive blocker.


1. Laremy Tunsil (T), 6-5, 310, Ole Miss.

2. Jason Spriggs (T), 6-5 5/8, 301, Indiana.

3. Ronnie Stanley (T), 6-5 3/4, 312, Notre Dame.

4. Joshua Garnett (G), 6-4 3/8, 312, Stanford.

5. Jack Conklin (T), 6-5 3/4, 308, Michigan State.


Third Round -- Benenoch (T/G), UCLA; Connor McGovern (G/T), Missouri.

Fourth Round -- Haeg (T), North Dakota State; Hawkins (T), LSU.

Fifth Round -- Joe Thuney (T/G/C), North Carolina State.

Sixth Round -- Willie Beavers (T/G), Western Michigan.

Seventh Round -- John Theus (T), Georgia.







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