---- — Steelers pick DE Tuitt
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers are used to drafting defensive players with no expectation that they need to see the field any time soon.
But with an aging defense that dropped outside the top 10 in total yards allowed for the first time since 1999, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said that is no longer a luxury the Steelers can afford.
The Steelers picked defensive end Stephon Tuitt in the second round of the draft on Friday, joining first-round selection linebacker Ryan Shazier as another young defensive player LeBeau expects will start this upcoming season.
The 6-foot-5, 303-pound Tuitt recorded 127 tackles and 21.5 sacks in three seasons.
He was an All-American as a sophomore, recording 47 tackles and a team-high 12 sacks and helped lead the Fighting Irish to a national championship game appearance.
An offseason hernia limited his conditioning heading into his junior year and caused Tuitt to gain weight, said Steelers assistant head coach John Mitchell.