Draft position needs: Wide receiver

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have nine picks in the 2014 NFL draft, and this is the eighth in a series that looks at the nine positions they could address in a week. Keep in mind the Steelers are likely to draft two cornerbacks, so they might not take a player at every position covered in this series.

Our eighth look is at wide receiver.

Added: Lance Moore, Darrius Heyward-Bey

Lost: Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery

Skinny: No position in a deep draft is more loaded than wide receiver. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said recently that a “minimum of seven” wide receivers will get taken in the first round, and that as many as nine could come off the board on the first day of the draft. The Steelers are unlikely to get a shot at Texas A&M’s Mike Evans, unless they trade up, as one of the tallest wide receivers in the draft will almost surely be a top-10 pick. If the Steelers covet a big wide receiver they could trade down and take Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin or Indiana’s fast-rising Cody Latimer. The pool of wide receivers is also deep enough that the Steelers can wait until after the first round and still get a good prospect. They have a history of finding wide receivers later in the draft, and they might be more inclined to target a cornerback in the first round and wait a little bit to take a wideout. I do think the Steelers draft a wide receiver with one of their first three picks.

Draft likelihood: High


Last WR drafted by the Steelers: Justin Brown, sixth round in 2013

Last WR drafted by the Steelers in the first round: Santonio Holmes, 2006

Last WR taken 15th overall in the draft: Michael Clayton, Titans, 2004

WRs drafted under Kevin Colbert/Mike Tomlin: Eight

WRs drafted under Colbert/Tomlin still with the Steelers: Three