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Steelers plan to address pass defense early in draft

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For as much promise as Pittsburgh's defense showed in the second half of last season, the Steelers know they need help in the secondary.

Appearing on Monday's edition of NFL Total Access, NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala reported that general manager Kevin Colbert plans to pull the trigger on the best available cornerback or safety with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft (April 27-29 in Philadelphia).

To this point, five safeties and one cornerback have visited Pittsburgh for workouts.

Armed with the understanding that he needs to upgrade his entire pass defense, Kinkhabwala added, Colbert "loves" Michigan hybrid defensive back Jabrill Peppers. The question is whether Peppers will be available at the back end of the first round.

Regardless of Peppers' availability, don't be surprised to see Colbert spend multiple early-round picks overhauling the pass defense. The Steelers have to prove they can survive in man-to-man coverage after watching Tom Brady dissect their zone defense in the AFC Championship Game.

If Ben Roethlisberger has his way, though, one of those draft picks will be devoted to the other side of the ball. After spending years campaigning for a wide receiver with size, the veteran quarterback has begun lobbying coach Mike Tomlin for a tight end, per Kinkhabwala.

It's worth noting that April is smokescreen season in the NFL. When it comes to the Steelers, though, the emphasis on the defensive backfield and tight end certainly checks out.

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