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.
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.
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.
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.
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