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03.02.2015 04:06
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<P>Steelers pick' It could be Hood</P>
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<P>"Would we trade up Yes. Would we trade down Yes," Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said earlier this week. "We've done both successfully.''</P>
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<P>The Steelers know who they want, but they're willing to let the value come to them. They won't reach for a defensive lineman in the first round while passing on a receiver with a higher draft grade.</P>
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<P>A year ago, the Steelers drafted running back Rashard Mendenhall in the first round even with Willie Parker in the starting lineup and despite having needs on the offensive and defensive lines.</P>
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<P>They could have had offensive tackle Duane Brown or defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer instead of another running back, but they trusted their scouts.</P>
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<P>"Something the Steelers have done very well is pick for value,'' Louisiana based NFL Draft analyst Mike Detillier said. "I guarantee you there will be a player they like in the 20s that's going to be there at 32. You've got to go with that player. You've got to go with your board.''</P>
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<P>The Steelers need to draft a defensive lineman because, goodness knows, they aren't getting any younger there. And the uncertainty of left tackle Max Starks' and center Justin Hartwig's contract status following the 2009 season makes the selection of an offensive lineman in the first round an inviting one.</P>
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<P>I predict the Steelers will take Missouri defensive tackle Evander "Ziggy'' Hood (6 foot 3, 300 pounds) with the No. 32 pick if he's on the board because it's easier to find a good offensive lineman than a good defensive lineman early in the draft.</P>
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<P>Hood, who posted the second fastest time in the 40 yard dash among defensive tackles at the NFL Scouting Combine (4.91 seconds), was stout against the run but also had 15 1/2 career sacks despite playing inside. He's a versatile defender who played in a 4 3 in college but was often used as a pass rusher with two linebackers and an extra defensive back. The Steelers love versatile, hard working players such as Hood.</P>
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<P>If Hood's off the board and the Steelers are still in the market for a defensive lineman, they're better off selecting an offensive lineman in the first round from a group that includes Arizona tackle Eben Britton, Oregon center Max Unger, California center Alex Mack and Louisville center Eric Wood.</P>
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<P>Offensive linemen are better value picks here for the Steelers than the second tier of defensive linemen that includes Southern Cal's Fili Moala, San Jose red bottom shoes State's Jarron Gilbert and Boston College's Ron Brace.</P>
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<P>A wild card possibility for the Steelers in the first round is Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis, red bottom shoes cheap the two time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Colbert, coach Mike Tomlin and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau attended Ohio State's louboutin replica Pro Day.</P>
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<P>"They went to his individual Pro Day and had a long talk with him,'' Detillier said. "He's a very smart, instinctive christian louboutin shoes replica player who can play the weakside in a 4 3 and inside in a 3 4.</P>
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<P>"I watched (former Steeler) Jack Ham play at Penn State. I think he's kind of a modern day version of Jack. He has some traits that are very similar to when Jack came out of Penn State.''</P>
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<P>If Hood and Laurinaitis are both off the board, the Steelers could be inclined to go with an offensive lineman in the first round.</P>
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<P>Britton is the best value pick because he's a tackle, but he could be gone when the Steelers select. Unger, Wood and Mack are similar because they play multiple positions, so it could come down to who among them is available at No. 32.</P>

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