With the 15th pick in Pride Of Detroit's 2014 NFL mock draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. Ncbur10 is serving as the Steelers' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
The Steelers are in a bit of a rebuilding phase, as evidenced by their uncharacteristic participation in free agency. They have addressed several positions, such as safety, wide receiver, running back and nose tackle, which leaves fewer true holes to fill, but if we are being honest, this team needs an infusion of youth on the defensive side of the ball. The current needs of this team are squarely on the cornerback and 3-4 defensive end positions, with a big-play receiver being a distant third.
At cornerback, the Steelers currently have Ike Taylor, who turns 34 in May, and Cortez Allen slotted into the starting positions. The fact that they have not addressed the CB position in the first two rounds since 2006 suggests that should change soon, as in this year.
Luckily for the Steelers, their greatest area of need aligns with their desire to draft BPA. Justin Gilbert is thought by most analysts to be the top CB in the draft. His athleticism is unquestioned, although his technique might need some polishing at the next level. I looked at both Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard but ultimately went with Gilbert because of his size -- he has to match up with A.J. Green and Josh Gordon twice a year -- and his speed, which gives him added value as a returner. Regardless, Gilbert is viewed as a potential top-10 prospect, and getting him at 15 adds value to the pick.
Check out the 2014 POD Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.