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Pittsburgh Steelers Using NFL Draft To Fight Off Aging

I just noticed that the excellent Steelers Lounge has some charts comparing the ages of Steelers starters to the NFL average at their positions. As you might expect, the Steelers are relatively old, particularly on the defensive line (Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel), wide receiver (Hines Ward), safety, and cornerback. 

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Fortunately, they're doing a nice job dealing with some of those concerns before they really become problems, Steelers Lounge points out. The Steelers have spent two first-round draft picks in the past three years addressing the defensive line, and should be able to ease Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward into starting roles. They also have a bunch of young wide receivers, including 2010 draft picks Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. They also picked two cornerbacks (Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen) in the 2011 NFL Draft. 

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These recent picks offer hope that the Steelers will be able to remain competitive as their oldest players fade away. When that happens, a new crop of players (such as Ben Roethlisberger) will become the older ones, and the Steelers will try to use the draft to replace those guys, too.

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This is, of course, what all teams do. But few teams do it as well as the Steelers.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.