Although the Steelers were prepared to lose WR Emmanuel Sanders in free agency, they did not expect to lose Jerricho Cotchery as well, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gaztte. Although the team replaced Cotchery with the similarly-reliable Lance Moore, Pittsburgh is still looking to add a big-bodied receiver in the draft.
The Steelers, like many teams, would like to draft Texas A&M WR Mike Evans, but Evans’ strong combine performance might have put him out of reach for Pittsburgh, who hold the N0. 15 overall selection. So, even though they are still likely to take a receiver early in the draft–perhaps with that No. 15 pick–the development of second-year player Markus Wheaton will be critical to the Steelers’ offensive success.
Wheaton dazzled in training camp last year but was primarily a special teams contributor during the regular season, appearing in 11 games and catching 6 passes for 64 yards. He will have ample opportunity to show Steelers coaches what he can do this summer, but he will likely have at least one high-ceiling rookie nipping at his heels.
Some more notes from around the league:
- Mike Wells of ESPN.com examines whether recently-released S Adrian Wilson could be a fit for the Colts. He writes that while GM Ryan Grigson will explore all options, the Colts already have two players in the secondary who could not stay healthy last season–LaRon Landry and Greg Toler–and do not need to add another. Free agent safety Kurt Coleman visited the team last week, and safeties Jimmie Ward and Terrence Brooks are possibilities in the second round of the draft.
- Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, just as he did yesterday, takes a look at some more impacts of Chris Johnson‘s departure on the Titans, noting that the team is likely to take a running back-by-committee approach.
- Although inside linebacker has not been discussed as a major position of need for the Ravens after the re-signing of Daryl Smith and the expected emergence of second-year man Arthur Brown, head coach John Harbaugh would like to add one or two inside linebackers to the roster, according to Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com. Harbaugh made no mention of Rolando McClain, whose rights the team still holds.