Steelers Surprise In Second Round

ACC Football Championship - Boston College Eagles v Virginia Tech Hokies

Are LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison good enough for you?

Evidently, they aren’t good enough for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  In a shocking move, the Steelers used their lone second round pick on OLB Jason Worilds out of Virginia Tech.  Actually, Worilds played defensive end in college but like Mister Woodley, his size (6’1 and 254 pounds) projects him as a pass rushing OLB at the pro level.  Honestly, with all the holes this team has in the secondary and both lines, not to mention very little depth at running back and wide receiver, I have no idea how this pick makes sense.   And here I thought they’d address an actual need such as finding an inside ‘backer to groom them as the heir apparent to the aging James Farrior.

Worilds is far from a can’t miss prospect.  Your hero and mine, Mel Kiper, had him listed as a third or fourth round pick.  So mid-second round is a bit of a stretch.   Worilds was named 2nd Team All-ACC in both 2008 and 2009, although he only had 49 tackles last season while battling a bum shoulder.   In fact, Worilds has a history with shoulder injuries which have required multiple surgeries.  Also, I doubt he can move inside because he’s not big enough to play ILB in a 3-4 defense, particularly since he’s not stout at the point of attack.

I don’t mean to be overly negative.  Worilds does have a few positive traits.  He’s a tremendous athlete who has shown explosive quickness and tremendous burst.  Like all Steeler linebackers, he’s got a non-stop motor who maintains pursuit.  Although he only has average timed speed, he seems to be capable of dropping into coverage and covering backs or tight ends.  So he does offer coach Mike Tomlin some of his beloved “situational flexibility.”

When and if he gets on the field that is.   Perhaps one of my draftnik readers will have more positive words of support for this pick.   Because honestly, I’m at a loss to explain this one.  With prototypical inside linebackers like Pat Angerer or Sean Lee on the board, not to mention a whole host of playmaking wide receivers, I have no idea why the Steelers chose to strengthen what already appears to be one of their strongest positions.

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