6th Round, 186th Overall: Justin Brown
Though Markus Wheaton was a solid pick in the third round for the Steelers, he lacks the size that many crave after Mike Wallace’s departure. Wheaton’s fast, no doubt, but the team would still be reliant on the aged Plaxico Burress to ‘go up and get it.’ So with the 186th overall pick in the draft, the Steelers gained some height by drafting Sooner WR Justin Brown. Brown was once a Nittany Lion before he transfered to Oklahoma. NPC’s own Dom Di Tolla has this to say of Brown:
A two-year starter with the Nittany Lions, Brown recorded a combined 68 catches for 969 yards and 3 touchdowns during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Brown however transferred to Oklahoma in the spring of last year after the fallout from the horrific ‘Jerry Sandusky Scandal.’…. An experienced receiver, Justin started 39 consecutive games over the last three years, and his height (6’3″ 207 lbs.) and frame should make him a terrific red zone target for Ben Roethlisberger. Although Brown is not necessarily a “burner” in terms of his raw speed (4.59 40 time at pro day), he can definitely stretch the field vertically. While raw, Brown definitely has the tools to develop into a solid pass-catcher if he works on his fundamentals like route-running and blocking.
I think Brown is a solid pick and will be right there in the thick of it during training camp competing for roster spots. He will certainly give Plaxico a run for his money. With a 4.5s 40 time, he has a slight speed edge on the well worn and gun shot wounded Burress. Having teammate Landry Jones there should help him feel comfortable, and he could become a favorite Red Zone target for Ben Roethlisberger – especially if TE Heath Miller struggles in his return from injury. Should Brown show up on the field consistently, we may need to adjust Antonio Brown’s uniform to ‘A. Brown.’
How would you grade the Justin Brown pick?