Pre-Draft Team Needs: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC North division last season but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Jacksonville Jaguars. What do they need to accomplish in the draft in order to get to take the next step toward a Super Bowl appearance? Details inside...

Players Added

Mewelde Moore/RB - He'll compete for a change of pace role and will also be expected to compete for a special teams return job. If used correctly, Moore can make some big plays on offense from time to time.

Justin Hartwig/OL - He's expected to compete for the starting center job against Sean Mahan who is technically the incumbent although he didn't play at a high level last season.

Keyaron Fox/LB - The undersized inside linebacker will compete for playing time as a backup.

Players Lost

Brian St. Pierre/QB - He's yet another ex-Steeler who signed with the Arizona Cardinals.

Verron Haynes/RB - Pittsburgh has good depth at this position still on the roster so Haynes may need to sign elsewhere if he wants to play in 2008.

Dan Kreider/FB - The veteran blocking fullback remains unsigned. Carey Davis is replacing him as the full-time starter.

Cedrick Wilson/WR - Off-the-field issues forced the team to release him.

Jerame Tuman/TE - He'll provide depth at tight end for the Arizona Cardinals.

Alan Faneca/LG - The Steelers let him walk but the New York Jets felt he was worth a five-year deal worth $40 million. The hope is that Chris Kemoeatu or possibly a rookie will be able to fill Faneca's void. There's a possibility that Hartwig will see time at left guard if he loses the center job.

Clark Haggans/OLB - He found a new home with his former coaches who are with the Arizona Cardinals. Haggans should be used in a situational pass rushing role.

Clint Kriewaldt/ILB - The backup inside linebacker remains without a job.

Allen Rossum/KR-PR - He didn't do a bad job for the team last season after being acquired from the Atlanta Falcons. Mewelde Moore and others will compete for the punt and kick return jobs this season.

Pre-Draft Team Needs

Cornerback - It would be hard to argue that the defense lacks a true solid cover cornerback. It seemed as though starter Ike Taylor had the potential to be a solid performer but consistency has constantly been an issue with him. Fellow starter Deshea Townsend turns 33 in September and probably has seen his better days.

Left Guard - With Alan Faneca signing a huge free agent deal with the New York Jets, that leaves Chris Kemoeatu as his replacement. The former University of Utah interior lineman has only started two games in his three years of play.

Left Tackle - Starter Marvel Smith missed four games last season due to back problems and he also missed four games during the 2005 season due to sprained ankle. Smith turns 30 in August and some team insiders believe his better days may be in the rear view mirror. His backup, Trai Essex, hasn't established himself as Smith's eventual replacement.

Running Back - In the two games that starter Willie Parker missed, the running game was stagnant which left an obvious issue. The team needs to find a good second back that's capable of starting if needed.

Other Issues to Address

Wide Receiver Depth

Defensive End Depth

Outside Linebacker Depth

Safety Depth

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