Will the Steelers Select Justin Hunter out of Tennessee? Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Backdraft: Opening Round

The 2013 NFL Draft is off to a stellar start for the Pittsburgh Steelers, adding Jarvis Jones at #17 in their opening round pick.  What, you haven’t read about it? No worries, fellow NPC Colleague Dominic Di Tolla has you covered (“2013 NFL Draft Graded: 1st Round Pick, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jarvis Jones“).  With the addition of Jones at Linebacker, where will the Steelers look to further build upon their talent base in today’s 2nd and 3rd Rounds?

A Needs Based Analysis

Taking the Best Available talent is how we operate on Draft Day, but based exclusively on needs, Pittsburgh is going to have a lot of talented options today.  Four areas of prime interest will be:

  • Wide Receiver

Tavon Austin, DeAndre Hopkins and Cordarrelle Patterson have been selected, but the deep talent available at this position will provide Pittsburgh a great option in our 2nd Round efforts.  Keenan Allen (Cal), Markus Wheaton (Oregon State), Robert Woods (USC) and Justin Hunter (Tennessee) are the leading candidates.  Interestingly, while Tyler Eifert has already been taken, another solid Tight End prospect is Stanford’s Zach Ertz.  I believe the Steelers will add a Receiving talent here before moving on to the 3rd Round.  Should they not? Going in to this evening’s restart, all Running Backs are still on the board.

  • Running Back

As expected by most, no Running Backs were selected in the 1st Round. Can you imagine finding Alabama’s Eddie Lacy available for Pittsburgh with our 48th Pick?! It’s not likely, but it is actually possible this could happen.  Montee Ball (Wisconsin), Le’Veon Bell (Michigan State), Giovani Bernard (North Carolina), and Johnathan Franklin (UCLA) obviously all remain as open possibilities.

  • Defensive Line

The Steelers could do extremely well for themselves here with available Damontre Moore (Texas A&M) or Alex Okafor (Texas), both outstanding Defensive Ends.

  • Secondary

Vaccarro and my own favorite Safety, Matt Elam, have been selected.  The Steelers could look to add depth to an aging Secondary here with a John Cypien (Florida International) or DJ Swearinger (South Carolina) at Safety, or a highly intriguing pick at Corner in the 3rd Round with Tyrann Mathieu (LSU).

That’s a heck of a lot of awesome talent available, but I believe Pittsburgh will hold to my pre-Draft predictions in the 2nd Round and select a Wide Receiver, opting for Tennessee’s Justin Hunter.  In the 3rd Round, I have the Steelers selecting Zac Dysert (Miami OH), but a Running Back selected here would also cap off a really great start for Pittsburgh in 2013.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Dom DiTolla

    Awesome post, John.

    The second the Steelers drafted Jones and Round 1 progressed I know that I was writing down which prospects could still be available today.

    I like how you mentioned Hunter as a possible selection at #48. I’m a Keenan Allen guy myself, but I pegged Hunter to them at #31 overall in my final mock draft. I’d be fine with either one, so I’m excited to see who falls.

    Also, what are your thoughts on Johnthan Banks if he falls to #48? I mentioned him in my last post, and I believe that the ball-hawk would be a perfect scheme fit in LeBeau’s zone-heavy defense. Heck, he even has the tools and experience to be a free safety if he puts on another 10 lbs..

  • richard

    The best wideouts will be gone before the Steelers pick at 17. The most drafted players in the first round were linemen, so everyone will be looking for skill players in the second round. So once again the Steelers have blatantly refused to give there franchise QB top quality talent. Our offense was 21st in the league last year and people are happy with Jarvis Jones. Colbert has already said the Steelers will not be moving up , so get used to another very disappointing daft. I am afraid it will be 2008 all over again.