In Las Vegas there are just about odds for anything and everything. And while Jim Wexell is no bookie, he is very good and very smart in creating odds for potential picks for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
So what did Wexell have to say? Darqueze Dennard has the best odds at being the Steelers 1st Round selection and 15th overall at 3-1.
I want to discount him because he lacks off-coverage skills, and the main Steeler dudes don’t abide that in a cornerback. But at Michigan State, Dennnard’s press man skills put the cherry on top of its cover-3 zone. That’s where the Steelers have evolved with Ike Taylor, and Ike turns 34 tomorrow. Happy birthday, Ike. Here’s your replacement.
This is the debate between Dennard and another potential corner, Justin Gilbert. Wexell doesn’t like Gilbert even though he plays press and zone very well. He lacks the physicality that Dennard possesses, which seems to be the trump card for Wexell. Gilbert’s odds at being the Steelers’ #1 pick? 8-1.
It appears that Wexell doesn’t think that the Steelers are dead set at selecting a cornerback as their first selection. The player with the next best odds is Odell Beckham at 4-1. Wexell thinks that Beckham is the most polished wide receiver in the draft and has the speed the Steelers are desire so much in their next playmaker.
Kyle Fuller rounds out the top three and then it gets a little interesting. Wexell has LB CJ Mosely in fourth with 6-1 and then a tie between WR Kelvin Benjamin and TE Eric Ebron at 7-1. For those who are pining for a Louis Nix III pick, the odds don’t look good. Wexell has Nix’s odds at being the Steelers #1 pick at 20-1. Nix will cause too much of a shift on the defensive line that Wexell considers too ‘big picture’ and something the team probably isn’t interested in at the moment.
It’s always interesting to see Wexell’s odds each year. He always has a great way of plainly saying what the reality is of the draft despite our deepest desires or what our own logic might be. I think he’s pretty on with the Steelers taking a corner – though I disagree with his assessment on Gilbert having lesser odds over Dennard. But, we’ll see. Of course all this gets thrown out the window with some kind of trade up or down that pushes the Steelers out of a prime spot.