Found February 26, 2013 on SteelBlitz Steelers Blog:
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It has been long rumored that James Harrison will be on his way out of Pittsburgh this off-season. The Steelers need to clear a lot of cap space and Harrison has a large cap number in 2013. Harrison is also going to be 35 years old next season and is starting to have injury issues the past two years. Therefore, it has also been rumored that the Steelers would target an early round outside linebacker in the 2013 draft to replace him. There has been talk of the Steelers drafting Dion Jordan of Oregon, Barkevious Mingo of LSU, Jarvis Jones of Georgia, Damontre Moore of Texas A&M, or Ezekial Ansah of BYU in the first round of the draft. However, there are some concerns surrounding Jones because of a neck injury that cost him a season in college. That injury also forced USC to recommend Jones to retire from football and they did not clear him to return to the field. Jones transferred to Georgia and has not had any issues since, but there are still concerns about long-term health. Ansah also has his own concerns. He only started nine games at BYU and he is very raw. Most draft analysts believe Ansah will have to wait in the wings for possibly two years before he is ready to take over as a full-time starter. With the Steelers rumored to be looking for impact players in the draft it is unlikely they will take a project player in the first round. Jordan looks like he has the potential to be the next Aldon Smith, but that also means that teams are very high on him. Jordan won’t escape the top ten and if he does he won’t get out of the top fifteen. The Steelers could think about trading up, but they are going to need all of their draft picks this year to fill holes. The issue with Mingo is that he had work ethic issues in college and was caught taking plays off too often. Mingo has all of the talent to be a solid outside linebacker, but work ethic issues are something that the Steelers will have to evaluate. Mingo also has the look of an Aldon Smith type and many don’t believe he will be around when the Steelers pick anyway. That brings us to Moore. For most pre-combine mock drafts Moore was considered a top five pick. After some poor numbers he is now being mocked by multiple people to go to the Steelers with their first pick in the draft. Moore was upset with his numbers at the combine and has already stated that those numbers will improve at his pro day. However, Moore was one of the most productive outside linebackers last year in college and if he falls the Steelers may have a shot at a very good player. Right now Jordan, Jones, Mingo, and Ansah are expected to go in the top fifteen picks. That means only Moore is expected to be around at number seventeen. That could also change if his numbers improve at his pro day. The problem with the 2013 draft is that there aren’t many elite talents so teams may be looking for pass rushers early in the draft. If that happens there may not be much left in the way of outside linebackers on the board for the Steelers with the seventeenth pick. Other players being rumored as potential options for the Steelers at number seventeen include: guard Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina, guard Chance Warmack of Alabama, receiver Cordarrelle Patterson of Tennessee, receiver Keenan Allen of Cal, and safety Kenny Vaccaro of Texas. The post 2013 Draft: Outside Linebacker Looking Less Intriguing for Steelers appeared first on SteelBlitz Steelers Blog.
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