Tomlin: 'They'll be given an opportunity'

As the 2014 NFL Draft came to a close, General Manager Kevin Colbert and Coach Mike Tomlin looked happy and satisfied with what they accomplished over the three days.

"It was really a unique draft when we entered this thing," said General Manager Kevin Colbert. "And when we talked about it going into it, we talked about how deep this draft was. We certainly saw that throughout the draft. Usually in a draft the first or second round will usually follow suit because everybody likes the better players. It usually opens up as you go through when teams are grabbing guys, and you usually have more guys available to you that you have a particular feel for. This year it seems like everybody was selected from the same group of players because it was so deep. It was really interesting to see how it broke, but we thought it broke well for us. We are very happy with the results."

They selected nine players, five defensive players and four offensive players, and Tomlin said he would be open to the possibility of several earning a starting position.

"It's not something that's going to be given to them," said Tomlin. "They'll be given an opportunity to earn it. But I do believe that within this group there are some guys that are very capable of doing just that.

"I think they have a chance to start if they earn it every year. That's just the reality of it. There have been some years where we've had an extremely strong unit and that makes it a tough nut to crack; we'll see what this unit is made of. I'm not going to prejudge and go into it with any preconceived notions. I'll let those guys sort themselves out on the grass of Latrobe like we always do." 

Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 Draft Picks

Ryan Shazier LB 6-1 237 Ohio State
Stephon Tuitt DE 6-5 303 Notre Dame
Dri Archer RB/WR 5-8 173 Kent State
Martavis Bryant WR 6-4 211 Clemson
Shaquiille Richardson CB 6-0 194 Arizona
Wesley Johnson OL 6-5 297 Vanderbilt
Jordan Zumwalt LB 6-4 235 UCLA
Daniel McCullers DL 6-7 352 Tennessee
Rob Blanchflower TE 6-4 256 UMass

Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 Rookie Free Agents

Chris Elkins OL 6-4 300 Youngstown State
Ethan Hemer DE 6-6 285 Wisconsin
Kaycee Ike OT 6-5 293 UAB
Howard Jones LB 6-4 238 Shepherd
Brendon Kay QB 6-4 228 Cincinnati
Josh Mauro DE 6-6 282 Stanford
Roy Philon DT 6-3 291 Louisville
Will Simmons OG 6-5 342 East Carolina
Eric Waters TE 6-5 245 Missouri

Make sure to check www.steelers.com on Wednesday, May 14, for the first part of "Countdown: Behind The Scenes Story of the 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Draft." The documentary will air beginning at 12 noon, and a new installment will air every Wednesday for four weeks (May 14, 21, 28 & June 4).

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