Published April 17, 2012
| Sports Network
The Steelers began the necessary process of getting younger this offseason by bidding adieu to such old standbys as Hines Ward, James Farrior and Aaron Smith, but there's still more work to be done to a roster where age remains a concern. Fortunately, the 10 picks Pittsburgh possesses presents an opportunity to bring in some desired new blood, particularly to a defense that has seven current starters 30 or over. Finding an eventual replacement for longtime nose tackle Casey Hampton, who's most effective in a timeshare role at this stage of his career, will be among general manager Kevin Colbert's top priorities, and the team could probably do better than the modestly-talented tandem of Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster at guard. Veteran Larry Foote is a capable substitute for Farrior at one inside linebacker slot, but the 31-year-old is merely a stopgap option and depth is thin behind the regulars. With top rusher Rashard Mendenhall's status for 2012 in question due to a torn ACL suffered in early January, Colbert may also look to bring in an impact running back as early as the second day, and a young quarterback could be of use as well with backup Charlie Batch turning 38 in December.
2011 Record: 12-4
Top Needs: NT, ILB, OG
First Three Picks: No. 24, No. 56, No. 86
Number of Selections: 10 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2011 - Cameron Heyward (DE, Ohio State); 2010 - Maurkice Pouncey (C, Florida); 2009 - Evander "Ziggy" Hood (DL, Missouri); 2008 - Rashard Mendenhall (RB, Illinois); 2007 - Lawrence Timmons (LB, Florida State); 2006 - Santonio Holmes (WR, Ohio State); 2005 - Heath Miller (TE, Virginia); 2004 - Ben Roethlisberger (QB, Miami-Ohio); 2003 - Troy Polamalu (SS, USC).