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Conway: Landon Collins safe pick as Troy Polamalu replacement

Even before future Pro Football Hall of Fame safety Troy Polamalu announced his retirement on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Steelers figured to be in the market for some secondary help in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Given how weak the safety position is this year, though, NFL Media analyst Curtis Conway sees only one viable option for the team in the first round as it looks to replace a legend in the defensive backfield.

"A safe pick is Landon Collins out of Alabama," said Conway on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" Friday. " ... He's the only real safety (in the first round). When you start talking about where you draft him, I like him around 18 to 25. So, if the Steelers selected him at No. 22, it would be a good pick for them and it's a need for them."

Collins has terrorized SEC offenses for the past three seasons and likely will be the only safety taken in Round 1.

Conway sees some versatility in the former Alabama star, which should only help his value, but if Pittsburgh elects to wait until Round 2 before taking a safety, Arizona State's Damarious Randall could be an intriguing option for the club.

"(Collins) can play strong safety or free safety," Conway said. " ... If you want to go first-round safety, you go Landon Collins. If you do want to go second-round safety, then you can go Damarious Randall."

Collins is NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock's top-rated safety in his positional rankings. Fellow analyst Charles Davis sees the Alabama product as a potential trade target for the Steelers in the first round, as Collins might be off the board before Pittsburgh is on the clock at No. 22.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert have been active in getting to pro days across the country this year, and they might have had an eye out for a potential Polamalu replacement. In Collins, though, they might just have a perfect fit.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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