The Pittsburgh Steelers missed the playoffs for only the fourth time in the past 12 years. Steelers fans hope that last season was nothing more than an outlier, instead of a trend. The aging roster, however, points to the latter.
Perhaps Pittsburgh's most age-affected position is defensive line, especially nose tackle Casey Hampton, whose run in the Steel City has likely come to an end. Most analysts recognize this roster hole as well, and project a defensive lineman to Pittsburgh with the 17th pick. Sports Illustrated's Don Banks is no different.
In his latest mock draft, Banks believes the Pittsburgh Steelers will select defensive end Damontre Moore out of Texas A&M, despite his weak showing at this past week's NFL Combine.
The Aggies junior didn't help himself at all in Indy, and it's possible his draft stock will slip down into the lower third of the first round. He ran a disappointing 4.95 and managed just 12 reps in the bench press, lowest among all defensive linemen. But the Steelers need some youth at outside linebacker and usually show patience with draft picks who might need a year or so to develop.
Moore was regarded as a top-10 selection after declaring for the NFL Draft, but his poor combine showing may adversely affect that status. But perhaps not this much. Moore at No. 17 would be a steal.
Matthew Fairburn of SB Nation's Mocking the Draft agrees and mocks Moore in the top 10, at No. 9 to the New York Jets. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, he chooses a more plausible defensive tackle -- Alabama's Jesse Williams.
An upgrade in the middle of the defensive line would give the team a whole different feel on that side of the ball. Jesse Williams proved he can eat up double teams and dominate the point of attack at Alabama this season. He would fit in nicely in Pittsburgh.
More in the NFL: