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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Will the Pittsburgh Steelers take a chance on Tyler Boyd?

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL Draft days away, Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd will finally learn his fate. While several teams have been floated as possibilities, one intriguing scenario is Boyd landing with the hometown Pittsburgh Steelers.

One reason for that? The Steelers lost wide receiver Martavis Bryant for the 2016 season for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy.

So are the Steelers interested in Boyd specifically?

The Observer-Reporter says while the team could wait until later rounds to go wide receiver, the club has shown interest in Boyd. Steelers Depot also says the team was likely to have interest. is more hopeful of it happening - so much so that in a mock draft last month, the site had Boyd as the Steelers' potential second-round pick.

The biggest reason for Pittsburgh not selecting Boyd is that he figures to be a somewhat early pick - perhaps earlier than the Steelers want to select him. The team also has other needs and Steelers guru Ed Bouchette echoed this in a recent Q&A on the Post-Gazette site:

CLAIRTON GUY: Will the Steelers take a chance on Tyler Boyd in 2nd Round?

Ed Bouchette: I would think not, because wide receiver is not their biggest area of need and they have been so good at finding them later.

I'm sort of with Bouchette on this one. I think Boyd being taken by the Steelers makes for a nice story, but I'm not sure they want to invest a second-round pick on him - that's even if he is still around by the time they draft. Had Boyd put up bigger numbers this season or had a knockout of a Combine, it's a move that might have been justified a bit more. But in reality, there are several receivers that project as good or better as he does and with pretty average 40-yard dash times, waiting another round or two for a receiver seems like it would be an option.

Who knows - maybe there's a run on wide receivers early and that leads to a premium being placed on Boyd. Or, conversely, maybe he slips a bit more than expected and they get him a round later. But the Steelers taking him is far from a given.

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