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2015 NFL mock draft: Michael Bennett to Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 56

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The Steelers need to rebuild their defense and continue doing so in the second round.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Following several retirements, the Steelers are tasked with rebuilding their defense this offseason. From front to back new bodies need to be added to the roster. After scoring cornerback Marcus Peters in the first round, Jeff Hartman from Behind the Steel Curtain continues looking for impact defenders.

56. Steelers: Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State

Hartman: The Pittsburgh Steelers are no strangers to selecting former Buckeyes in the early rounds of the NFL Draft to be key cogs in their defense. Cameron Heyward and Ryan Shazier are perfect examples of the type of players the Steelers select from Ohio State, and Michael Bennett is just the next on the list.

With the Steelers’ lack of depth along the defensive front, combined with their attraction to sub-package football, an increased interior pass rush is certainly needed to help counterbalance what Heyward and Stephon Tuitt will be capable of in 2015. Bennett wouldn’t start, barring injury, but would be able to help the team in obvious passing situations.

Bennett recorded 41 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, three passes broken up, and three forced fumbles in 2014, and could help bring even more athleticism to the Steelers’ defensive front, a position which is in desperate need of depth, for years to come. All reasons why the Steelers will look for Bennett with their second round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Dan Kadar, SBNation.com: If you're going solely by the best player available at a position of need, I like this choice. If you're going for a potentially bigger impact, I prefer a pass rusher. Markus Golden of Missouri and Nate Orchard of Utah are arguably the two top pass rushers out there, and they'd be hard to pass on. That's not to say this is a bad pick, however. Bennett would presumably take on the 450 snaps Brett Keisel played last season, and offer many of the same things Keisel did. He's a disruptive player with an incredible first step for a player his size.

Dan's Top 5 players remaining

  • 39. Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State
  • 47. Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana
  • 50. Markus Golden, DE, Missouri
  • 51. Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (OH)
  • 53. Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan

All picks from this mock draft

Steelers picks

  • 1-22: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
  • 2-56: Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State

We're down to our final pick of the day with the Carolina Panthers and Cat Scratch Reader coming up at 3 p.m.