Draft plan for Steelers, Giants, Colts

Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger could both use offensive line help. US Presswire, AP Photo

Adam Schefter answers reader questions in his mailbag twice a week. Got a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: Adam, the Pittsburgh Steelers have several holes to fill, namely the D-line, inside linebacker and O-line. Any thoughts on which they will address first in the draft?

-- John (Ohio)

A: All are needs, John, and it just depends who goes in front of them. This draft is so deep at defensive tackle that it's easy to see the Steelers looking in that direction on draft day. The one thing about Pittsburgh's defense is that it's aging, quickly -- the Steelers need an infusion of youth and talent. Then again, they also could use some reinforcements to help protect Ben Roethlisberger. But the needs along the defensive line would seem to be the most pressing and if there's a bona fide prospect available, Pittsburgh could pounce on him.

Q: Do you think the New York Giants will pass on Coby Fleener and go with Nebraska's Lavonte David, or opt to go with an offensive lineman? Or will they shock everyone and go DE again, and use Osi Umenyiora as trade bait?

-- Ravon (New Jersey)

A: Good questions, Ravon. Nobody would have thought they would go cornerback last year, and they did. Could see them going offensive line this year -- makes a lot of sense. The need there is greater than the need at tight end, with the team having added Martellus Bennett during free agency. The thing with the Giants is, they are tough to predict. How many times have you been able to actually forecast their selection? It's very challenging.

Q: I haven't heard much in the way of interest when it comes to QB Darron Thomas. Is there a chance he actually gets drafted?

-- Tim (Oregon)

A: Anyone who throws for 63 touchdowns and only 16 interceptions over two seasons should get consideration, Tim, and Thomas will. He could be a late-round pick for a team that views him as a developmental prospect in the mold of Minnesota Vikings backup quarterback Joe Webb. Oregon's offense is atypical of what NFL teams run, but Thomas has the measurables and is worth a look.

Q: Adam, the Indianapolis Colts have so many needs to address. After the first round, what are some names and/or positions that you think they might be attracted to?

-- Bryan (Montana)

A: Fleener would be a tremendous pick if he snuck into the top of the second round, Bryan. They also can't do enough to protect Andrew Luck. There are defensive needs all across the board, but if you're going to build your franchise around Luck, you better make him as safe and as comfortable as he can be. There will be time to build the defense, and Chuck Pagano knows defense, so it's time to concentrate on that offense for now.

Q: We have talked a lot about prospects who are climbing the draft boards. I am wondering about the prospects that have fallen out of favor, and specifically Bruce Irvin. Was it just lack of production that hurt him this year or is it something else I haven't heard of yet? What about some other falling prospects?

-- Jarrett (West Virginia)

A: Jarrett: He has had some off-field issues that teams have noticed. Some teams view him as a risky player to pick, but there's also no denying that he's a dynamic, quick-twitch pass-rusher, and those usually are in demand. He's about 245 pounds, which sill concerns some teams and forces him out of the first round. He could be possibly pushed into the third. But enough teams are intrigued with his pass-rushing skills that he has interest -- thus the discussions he has had with the Cowboys, Patriots, Bears, Bills and more. As for other players sinking, just keep this in mind: these players haven't played in about three months and there's no reason anyone should be sinking too much unless there are off-field issues or a horrendous pro day workout.