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Steelers draft capsule

April 19, 2013
The Altoona Mirror

The following is the second of seven position-by-position 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers NFL draft analyses:

CENTERS

On the roster: Maurkice Pouncey

Last six drafts: A.Q. Shipley (seventh round, 2009) is currently on the Indianapolis Colts' roster. Pouncey (first round, 2010) is the type of pick the Steelers need to make with their first rounder this year.

Top centers available: Barrett Jones, Alabama; Travis Frederick, Wisconsin; Brian Schwenke, California

The Steelers might take: T.J. Johnson, South Carolina

Analysis: Because of Pouncey, the Steelers will not take a center high in this year's draft. If they even pick one at all, it might be in the sixth or seventh round and be a center - like Johnson - who could be versatile enough to be a backup guard, too. They might be looking for someone to fill Doug Legursky's role.

OFFENSIVE GUARDS

On the roster: David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, John Malecki, Justin Cheadle

Last six drafts: DeCastro (first round, 2012) needs to make up for lost time this season. Kraig Urbik (third round, 2009) didn't play in any games for the Steelers but has started 28 for the Buffalo Bills. Cameron Stephenson (fifth round, 2007) and Keith Williams (sixth round, 2011) didn't make impacts.

Top guards available: Chance Warmack, Alabama; Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina; Justin Pugh, Syracuse; Larry Warford, Kentucky; Kyle Long, Oregon

The Steelers might take: Jeff Baca, UCLA; JC Tretter, Cornell; Earl Watford, James Madison

Analysis: As with center, the Steelers will most likely not select a guard on the first two days of the draft. However, if a versatile pulling guard is available in the sixth or seventh round - Tretter is be an interesting project - the Steelers could add some depth to their O-line.

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

On the roster: Marcus Gilbert, Mike Adams, Kelvin Beachum, Joe Long

Last six drafts: It's time for Gilbert (second round, 2011) and Adams (second round, 2012) to take their games to another level. Beachum (seventh round, 2012) has been a nice find with his versatility. Tony Hills (fourth round, 2008) and Chris Scott (fifth round, 2010) didn't take advantage of their chances.

Top tackles available: Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M; Eric Fisher, Central Michigan; Lane Johnson, Oklahoma; DJ Fluker, Alabama; Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

The Steelers might take: Emmett Cleary, Boston College; Vince Painter, Virginia Tech; Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas

Analysis: The Steelers have selected tackles in the second round the last two years, so don't expect them to make the position a priority again this year. As with center and guard, the Steelers could take a versatile tackle in the sixth or seventh round and hope he turns out like Beachum did last year. Cleary, Painter and Hawkinson are projected to be late-round picks.

Coming Saturday: Defensive line

- Buck Frank

 
 

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