Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Most Realistic Selections In Round One


Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

 

Oh boy the draft is right around the corner! Mock drafts are rolling out and expert’s usually narrow down each teams pick to a couple of positions. Then there is always that guy who goes out on a limb and predicts a quarterback in the first round for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I don’t care what Kevin Colbert says, the Steelers have never had a plan to draft a quarterback in the first round, not now, not ever since Big Ben was drafted. Here’s a list to remind the “experts” the positions that are really in plan for the Steelers first round pick.

Cornerback

Probably the most obvious one of all the positions, cornerback is a dire need for the Steelers. They currently only have Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen and William Gay with any real success on the team, but Ike Taylor struggled mightily last season and is playing his last season in Pittsburgh. William Gay could be a cap casualty next season and may get cut. Allen, if he improves his game this season, looks to be the future of the position, but what about across from him. The Steelers really haven’t had a good duo of cornerbacks in a while. It has been Ike Taylor paired with young players who never really develop or leave once they do. Now is the time to change that. Pair someone with Allen in the first round this year and the starters could be set for years to come. Guys like Justin Gilbert, Darqueze Dennard and Kyle Fuller could all be available when the Steelers select at 15, and they may get to choose from every corner in the draft, which could be quite the ideal situation for the Steelers.

Wide Receiver

Not far behind cornerback is the wideout position. The Steelers have Antonio Brown, but after that new additions via free agency and a bunch of second year players. Markus Wheaton looks to take over Emmanuel Sanders spot from last year and could either fly or fall. Hopefully, he flies. Behind him should be Lance Moore, a free agent brought over from the Saints. He could replace Jerricho Cotchery’s production from last year, but the Steelers really need another young guy with serious potential. There are several first round caliber wide receivers that should be available when the Steelers pick at 15. However, if Mike Evans is available, it’s a 50/50 between Mike Evans or a cornerback. It seems like the Steelers are very high on Evans and it would be hard for them to pass on him. Another crazy situation would be if Sammy Watkins fell. Crazy things have happened in the draft, and if Watkins somehow fell, game over, Watkins to the Steelers. But, it’s more likely the Steelers bring back make a trade back for Lamarr Woodley than Watkins falling to the Steelers, basically it’s not happening. Other guys to watch for is Odell Beckham Jr. and Kelvin Benjamin.

Tight End

I really believe only wide receiver and cornerback is in play for the Steelers first round selection, but if all the top corners and wide receivers are gone, Eric Ebron could be the pick. He is a very athletic tight end who is more of a receiver than a blocker. Pair him with Heath Miller and the Steelers would have a very good duo of tight ends and that huge target Big Ben has supposedly been crying for since Burress left. That would then leave the Steelers with Heath Miller’s replacement and check that off next years to do list. Like I said, expect a cornerback or wide receiver in the first, but Eric Ebron could be a surprise selection.

For all you experts out there, narrow down your selections to either wide receiver, cornerback or tight end. Not another linebacker, which would be for depth purposes only after the selection of Jarvis Jones last year. No defensive end because they wouldn’t start for a year or two anyway. No offensive tackle because the Steelers have 3 potentially talented tackles to work with hall of fame coach Mike Munchak.

Let me know what you think about the article by leaving a comment!

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Pittsburgh Steelers

  • SDAZT.STEEL66

    You forgot Jason Verrett in the cornerbacks section. Otherwise, this is a solid rundown on the most likely positions Pittsburgh will target.

  • [email protected]

    Levi,
    Here’s what I see happening:

    15. Gilbert/Dennard/Fuller, CB
    46. J. Matthews/WR
    97. D. Lawrence/DE-OLB
    118. R. Carrethers/NT
    157. J. Pagan/DE
    173. A. Colvin/CB
    192. J. Janis/WR
    215. S. Henderson/OT
    230. B. Gardner/DE

    Granted, some of the names may change but I think we will double up on CB and perhaps DE, maybe even WR depending on what players are available in each round.
    This gets us a starting quality NT that ALLOWS US TO MOVE MCCLENDON TO DE (there, I said it), where he belongs, 2 CBs that could develop into starters, 2 developmental DEs, and 2 developmental WRs (perhaps a starter in the case of Jordan Matthews or whatever WR they take). Plus, a killer pass rushing OLB.

    So many ways to go, but I like the ‘mix’ of positions in this kind of draft and we address needs on both sides of the ball with emphasis on the D.

    • bk

      Agree on most of your picks…I like MAtthews, but, also like Robinson there too…
      NOt sure Lawrence will be there at 97.. if not maybe a TE goes there if Amaro/Nicklas falls a little..

      • [email protected]

        bk,
        Yeah, there are like 3 or 4 guys who could be the WR in rd2. Robinson, Lattimer, Matthews, Moncrief (he’s more of a rd 3 guy though).
        There are 2 things I insist on in a mock of mine – taking a QUALITY CB in rd1 (no more messing around with rd 3 or 4 guys, although we have had ‘some’ success with that), and drafting a QUALITY NT (Carrethers could just as easily be Justin Ellis or Daniel McCullers – WHO it is is not as important as getting the position filled).
        On the NT, we can move McClendon to DE (boy have I taken heat on that move on this website) as Mc is a quality player good against both the run and a good pass rusher. By moving Mc to DE, we don’t need as high a pick used on DE, AND Mc already knows the defense so no waiting for 3 years for a drafted DE to start (NT is much easier to learn in DLBs defense). The drafted NT and Cam Thomas can alternate to stay fresh (% of playing time dependent on performance) so that we always have a NT ready to rock!!!
        Bring Keisel back for a year for depth, just until Arnfelt and the rest of the boys like Williams develop, and we have a solid DL with using only one pick for depth.
        What would your mock look like?

        • bk

          15 – same as you have
          46 – Robinson/Matthews/Benjamin wr’s or if by a miracle Nix/Easley falls this far..
          97 – Niklaus TE (doubtful he falls this far) so I like Billy Turner OT.. unless we don’t get a wr in rd 2 then Moncrief/Adams/Bryant
          118 – Same as you, NT (unless we get one in rd like above) if so, we go DeAnthony Thomas (or similar speed/scat back/slot guy) ie D. Archer
          157 – Southward S, Wisc
          173 – I like Colvin here too… or James Hurst OT coming off injury
          192 – Lyerla TE, or Duncan,Rogers, Gilmore..
          215 – Coleman or Allen DT
          230 – Enemkpali DE or Nixon OLB New Mexico St…

          • bk

            Dream Mock:
            15 – Dennard (CB)
            46 – Nix (NT)
            97- Moncrief (WR)
            118 – D. Archer (RB)
            157 – Southward (S)
            173 – Hurst (OT)
            192 – Lyerla (TE)
            215- Norwood (WR)
            230 – Nixon (LB)

            Try to pick up some UDFA’s for depth at: OLB, TE, ILB..

            This draft gives us a stud CB, run stuffer at NT, 2 types of big WR’s (speed and possession) a weapon out of the backfield (speed!), A great special teamer/depth at S, a “redshirt” OT, a troubled but physically gifted TE, and a speed OLB/Special teamer…

          • Craig

            Solid and totally a dream deal, BK. But I think if the Steelers want Moncrief, they are going to have to reach and go Round 2 with him. I don’t think he’ll be around at 97, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers are heavily interested in him.

          • bk

            Agreed.

          • Chris Doakes

            I hope we stay away from dennard don’t know why everyone is so high on him he grabs too much for me either Gilbert or fuller

          • bk

            I think Gilbert is the best… or will be in 1-2 years… Fuller will probably fit the best with the Steelers D.

          • Chris Doakes

            Yes Gilbert is the best and we have one of the best Teachers who can teach him in Carnell Lake I get tired of hearing about he can’t tackle you can teach that it’s all about technique. Would you more rather have speed and just teach him how to properly wrap up or someone who is slow and always grab in dennard

    • Levi Combs

      I love your enthusiasm. I am the same way but most of the time all the draft picks don’t pan out how we dream they will be. The first 3 picks are perfect. That would be a great first three picks for the steelers. We can’t hope for a fourth round NT to come in and be the savior to the run problems, especIally as a rookie. Second, we currently do have two developmental DEs, one a monster in nick Williams, if we can only
      Get him developed soon enough. This is one of the better mock drafts I have seen though. Would slot in a fast running back such as deanthony Thomas or dri archer in pagans spot. Other than that very good picks.

  • Carl Eagan

    It would be insane to draft Ebron as the replacement for Miller, he can’t block is a sloppy route runner and loses focus during the game. He’s a taller version of Sanders not a decent tightend for the Steeler’s.

    • SDAZT.STEEL66

      You do realize what “12″ personnel is, correct? You also realize that not every TE needs to block and that teams carry more than one on their roster, right? You did watch Ebron’s game and see someone who was willing to block, but simply lacked the technique, right?

      You do realize that Matt Spaeth, Michael Palmer and David Paulson comprise the “depth” at tight end, right? You do know that Heath Miller, who is 32, sustained a massive knee injury towards the end of the 2012 regular season too?

      I like Amaro better than Ebron, but to think that the Steelers can get away with blocking-only TEs on their depth chart behind Miller & pass on guys who can create matchup issues for opposing defenses so they can play 1972-version football is a joke.

  • Dave Bradley

    15. Gilbert/Dennard/Fuller, CB
    46. Kyle Van Noy OLB Byu
    97. Cody Latimore, WR Indy
    118. Pierre Desir,CB, linwood
    157. Deandre Coleman DE, Cal
    173. Xavier Grimble,TE, USC
    192. Justin Britt, OT, Missouri
    215.Ryan Carrethers, NT Ark st
    230. Kevin Norwood,WR,Bama

  • Mark

    I want a WR first pick.