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Projected 2014 starters: Pittsburgh Steelers

Around The League predicts the Week 1 starting lineups for all 32 teams, analyzing the potential impact of each rookie class. Click here for the complete series breakdown.

Pittsburgh Steelers Projected 2014 Starters
Offense
Defense
QB
DE
RB
DT
WR1
DT
WR2
OLB
WR3
ILB
TE1
ILB
LT
OLB
LG
CB1
C
CB2
RG
SS
RT
FS


» The Steelers entered the offseason as an organization in transition. Faced with an aging roster, the former perennial contender has been forced to rebuild on the fly. Disparaged as "old and slow" by NFL Media's Warren Sapp the past two years, Dick LeBeau's defense added an impressive blend of size and athleticism in free agency and the draft.

» The defense can count on an impact starter with fresh legs at all three levels. Mike Mitchell will start at free safety after reviving his career in Carolina last season. First-round linebacker Ryan Shazier will team up with Lawrence Timmons as one of the NFL's most dynamic linebacker tandems. The Steelers believe second-round defensive end Stephon Tuitt would have been a top 10 draft pick if not for a hernia injury last season.

» This franchise has the added benefit of a 2013 draft class ready to take on increased roles. Le'Veon Bell is one of the NFL's rare three-down backs. Markus Wheaton is the favorite to replace Emmanuel Sanders opposite Antonio Brown, and edge rusher Jarvis Jones pushed LaMarr Woodley out the door.

» It's with good reason that the Steelers didn't address the offensive line in the draft. Once Kelvin Beachum solidified left tackle, Ben Roethlisberger was sacked just 11 times over the final eight games. This was one of the NFL's hottest teams down the stretch, and the roster has been upgraded in impressive fashion.

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