Steelers Picks Rounds 4-7
119. Pittsburgh Steelers: Chris Rainey RB/SB/WR/KR (Florida)
A couple of weeks ago I discussed some Running Back prospects which the Steelers might target in this years’ Draft. One such prospect was Florida’s Chris Rainey, who in my opinion could/should be on Pittsburgh’s collective radars over the weekend. I liken the 5’8″ 180 lb. Rainey to Dexter McCluster, a jack-of-all-trades Back from the S.E.C. drafted by Todd Haley, and both have similar size, speed, and skill sets. During his collegiate career, Rainey, in the mold of former Gator Percy Harvin, ran the ball, caught the ball, and performed well on Special Teams and did it at an extremely high level. In addition, Rainey is familiar with the Pouncey twins after living with them for a period during High School and was their teammate at Florida as well. While Rainey may come with a little bit of baggage, Pittsburgh is in need of a 3rd Down Back this season, and if Rainey is available in Round 4 (or Isaiah Pead of Cincinnati), it would be difficult for them to pass on him.
(Previous Selection: Lucas Nix, OG, Pittsburgh)
159. Pittsburgh Steelers: Hebron “Loni” Fangupo NT (Brigham Young)
I personally do not believe the Steelers will address the Nose Tackle spot until the middle Rounds of the Draft, but even if they do, there are quality players like Hebron “Loni” Fangupo who could be perfect fits along Pittsburgh’s Defensive Line for years to come. Fangupo, who will be 27 this season because of a Mormon Mission, took a long road to the N.F.L.. After playing Junior College ball, Fangupo was set to start for U.S.C. when a foot injury sidelined him, and he eventually transferred to Brigham Young. At 6’1″ 323 lbs., Fangupo has a stout frame like Casey Hampton, can stuff the run, take up space, and played in a 3-4 Defense at Brigham Young. Granted, Fangupo is not much of a pass-rusher. But he also has some versatility to his game, and Fangupo even played 5-Technique for the Cougars, an aspect which should only make him a more intriguing prospect to Defensive Line Coach John Mitchell and the rest of the Coaching Staff as well. Fangupo came in for a visit recently, and if he is available in Round 5, Pittsburgh could make him their selection.
193. Pittsburgh Steelers: Greg Childs WR (Arkansas)
If for some awesome reason that Greg Childs is available in Round 6 and the Steelers are set to pick, they should not even give this pick a second thought. At 6’3″ 212 lbs., the athletic Childs would likely have been a 3rd Round pick this season had he not suffered a devastating patellar injury in 2010 and another injury this past season. It was a shame, because Childs was on his way to enjoying a career season in 2010. Nevertheless, Childs still put up 21 Catches for 240 Yards this past year, and it seems that he is slowly making his way back to 100% after a stellar Pro Day performance. Even if Childs is available in Round 5 I would have no qualms with Pittsburgh taking him. With his frame, talent, and ability to add something extra to Pittsburgh’s receiving corps, the pain of losing Mike Wallace would be lessened. Granted, Childs’ production might be a bit miniscule in Year 1, but after a year of getting acclimated and healthy at the pro level, he could really be a missing piece for a Pittsburgh Offense which has lacked a large target since Plaxico Burress laced them up almost seven years ago.
231. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jeremy Jones CB/S (Wayne State)
At just under 5’10″ and 197 lbs. and coming out of a Division II school, Jeremy Jones is a bit of a project player. Nevertheless, Jones could be a valuable asset to the Steelers if he is indeed drafted and developed over a couple of seasons. Jones is a scrappy guy and despite his size can play physically against the run and in the passing game. In 2011, Jones racked up 76 Tackles, 6.5 Tackles For Loss, 3.5 Sacks, and 9 Interceptions and outshone his competition on a consistent basis. Jones could contribute on Special Teams early in his career while working on the nuances of the position, and also be used in Nickel and Dime sets to match up against smaller slot receivers as well. It will be up to the Coaching Staff and Carnell Lake as to where Jones would fit better, Cornerback or Safety, but Pittsburgh appears interested in Jones as the brought him in for a visit recently.
240. Pittsburgh Steelers: Drake Dunsmore HB/TE (Northwestern)
With Weslye Saunders sidelined for the first four games of the season due to violating the League’s drug policy, Pittsburgh could be in the market for a pass catching Tight End in the later Rounds over the weekend. Pass catching depth is needed behind Pro Bowler Heath Miller because Leonard Pope and David Johnson are more blocking options, and both guys contracts are up after this season as well. Playing the “Superback” position at Northwestern, the 6’2″ 241 lb. Dunsmore could find a role as an H-Back and challenge David Johnson for playing time as early as this season. Possessing good hands, Dunsmore caught 143 passes during his career with the Wildcats and scored 14 Touchdowns as well. Inserting Miller and Dunsmore into 2 Tight or 1 Tight 1 H-Back sets with Redman in the game could really cause some problems on passing downs for the opposition, and if it is not Dunsmore that the Front Office targets, Pittsburgh could really use a solid pass catcher out of the backfield in H-Back/Tight End form that can be a reliable safety valve that Matt Spaeth never was.
246. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ryan Van Bergen DE (Michigan)
With Brett Keisel aging and Ziggy Hood inching closer to Free Agency in 2014, it might be a good idea to start finding some late-Round diamonds in the rough to groom for the future and provide depth in the present. Ryan Van Bergen could very well be a late-Round prospect that the Steelers target if they are in the market for a 5-Technique. Van Bergen possesses a good frame 6’6″, and weight 291 lbs., to project to be a 5-Technique Defensive End for the Steelers, and he has experience playing outside on a 3-man line in Michigan’s 3-3-5 Stack scheme. And from a bit of research I have done, it appears that the Steelers might be interested in selecting Van Bergen next month. According to NFL.com’s Gil Brandt, Pittsburgh sent Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and D-Line Coach John Mitchell to Michigan’s Pro Day a couple of weeks ago. And in an article by Michigan Football reporter Karl Meinke of Ann Arbor.com, he said that Van Bergen talked with Tomlin (the only Head Coach in attendance) after the workout where Tomlin was apparently pleased with how well Van Bergen performed that day.
248. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Corp QB (Richmond)
Pittsburgh would be wise to get some insurance behind Ben Roethlisberger, and also acquire a somewhat project of a prospect to groom behind him. Byron Leftwich seems to be perpetually injured, Charlie Batch is a solid backup but is in his late 30’s and who knows how much longer he could be playing, and Troy Smith is no more than a #3 guy. If the name Aaron Corp sounds familiar to some of you West Coast members of Steeler Nation, it should. Corp was the starting QB at Southern Cal before next years likely #1 pick Matt Barkley took the job from him in Fall Camp after Corp went down with an injury. After transferring to Richmond after the season, Corp sustained a devastating knee injury early in 2010, and was only able to show off his skills during the 2011 season and put up a solid season where he completed 63.4% of his passes for 2,682 Yards and 17 TD’s. Gil Brandt of NFL.com reported that Corp had himself a nice Pro Day a couple weeks ago, and seems to be back healthy. In the event that Corp is fully healthy and can stay that way, he could be a real sleeper pick this year and a definite steal for a team that has the luxury of grooming a QB for a few years. Corp has the size (almost 6’4″ and 215 lbs.), the arm, and the athleticism to be a quality pro player. It wasn’t too long ago that Corp was the heir apparent to Mark Sanchez when the Trojans were dominating college football, and if the Steelers can get him late they should take a chance.