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Mel Kiper Jr.: Draft will be well stocked with pass rushers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a good spot to address the position where they might most be lacking by the time the 2015 NFL draft is held in May, and it has nothing to do with where they will pick.

ESPN NFL draft analyst said Mel Kiper Jr. said this draft will be a deep one for pass rushers, and the Steelers might need more than a few of them given their uncertainty at outside linebacker.

“That’s probably the strongest position in this draft, those combo guys that can get after the quarterback,” Kiper said during a recent conference call.

Jarvis Jones is the only outside linebacker on the Steelers’ roster who has NFL experience and is signed beyond 2014. That and the fact that the Steelers managed just 33 sacks last season puts a pass rusher -- a defensive end who can convert to an outside linebacker in the Steelers’ 3-4 defense -- in play for their first-round pick.

The Steelers pick No. 22 overall and probably won’t get a chance to select Nebraska’s Randy Gregory or Florida’s Dante Fowler Jr. unless they trade up in the first round. Kentucky’s Bud Dupree could be available later in the first round.

Kiper said Utah’s Nate Orchard, Lousiville’s Lorenzo Mauldin and Arkansas’ Trey Flowers are edge pass rushers who could be available in the second or third round.

“If you want those kinds of players they’re out there in high numbers this season,” Kiper said.

Kiper addressed a couple of other positions that the Steelers are likely to address in the draft.

He said Alabama’s Landon Collins is the only safety worthy of a high first-round pick, and the crowd at the position after Collins could work out in the Steelers’ favor.

“You’ve got a lot of third through fifth-, sixth-rounders at safety,” Kiper said. “I don’t see a lot of twos.”

Kiper said it is a deep draft at tight end, and that is the one position on offense that the Steelers need to replenish.

“(There are} a lot of tight ends but they’re all different,” Kiper said. “Some can be in-line, some can be flexed out, some are H-backs, some are glorified receivers.”