PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers needed run-stopping help after losing Steve McLendon, but they got something extra with the 89th overall pick -- pass-rush-happy tackle Javon Hargrave, a 295-pounder with 37.5 career sacks at South Carolina State. This has been an all-business, needs-heavy draft for Pittsburgh, filling voids at tackle, cornerback and safety. The Steelers believe Hargrave can help right away, unafraid of the perceived lack of competition in his Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Every-down DT? The Steelers played a true nose tackle less than 40 percent of the snaps last season because of the league's passing trends. That's why Hargrave's pass-rush ability makes sense here. Defensive line coach John Mitchell believes Hargrave didn't go higher in the draft because he played in a small-school conference. "This guy's impressive," Mitchell said. "One of the few big men I've seen you can leave on the field on third down." Another rotational tackle will help spell overworked ends Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. Hargrave needs to improve his hand techniques at the line of scrimmage, Mitchell said.
Nimble 300-pounder: Hargrave believes a high school basketball career helped with his stamina and footwork in football. Hargrave was an All-State basketball player out of North Rowan High in Salisbury, N.C. He ventured out to the perimeter to handle guards. "I can be on the field 30 or 50 plays. That's how I've been my whole life," Hargrave said. "Of course that's a plus, being able to stay on the field that long, play every down." Hargrave didn't qualify academically out of high school, forcing him to a small school. "I had to take a different route," he said.
What's next: Expect the offense to get a little love on Day 3, when the Steelers have four picks overall, including two seventh-rounders but no fifth-rounder. A few playmaking depth options are San Jose State running back Tyler Ervin and Cincinnati wide receiver Chris Moore. Offensive guard could be in play, too. You can never have enough pass-rushers and corners, so keep that in mind as the Steelers shape their 2016 roster.