May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Ryan Shazier (Ohio State) holds up his jersey after being selected as the number fifteen overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Round 2 & 3: What To Look For

Well the Pittsburgh Steelers shocked the majority of Steeler Nation with their selection in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

I wish I was telling you in this post that the Steelers filled a big need at corner or at wide receiver.  Or, that the Steelers surprised some folks by picking a defensive tackle or trading down to get any of those.  Instead to recap….

The Steelers took ILB Ryan Shazier out of Ohio State.  As I stated in my reaction post, the Steelers’ love affair with Ohio State players continued with the selection of Shazier.  Shazier’s upside is his natural athletic ability and his speed.  He is very fast for an ILB at his size, and the hope is that he will be a play disrupter.  But when?  Shazier is talented but as his scouting report notes, he needs to develop his vision and ability to recognize plays.  That takes time and is compounded even further with the obsessiveness behind DLB and benching rookies until they learn the ‘complicated scheme.’

So what should we be looking for on Friday and Rounds 2 & 3?  Well, the team still needs to fill two glaring holes – corner and wide out.  The Steelers will get the 46th overall pick and then the 97th overall (3rd round compensatory, non tradable).  As the evening closed on Thursday night, the top corners on the board were snatched up:  Gilbert, Fuller, Dennard, Roby, Verrett.  The top 5 rated corners in the draft.  Terrance Mitchell is an option but is on the slower end.  Phillip Gaines out of Rice could be the horse here for the Steelers.  He’s tall, a little faster on the spectrum of corners and is solid in zone coverage but lacks the physicality that the Steelers would love to have.

Who’s left on the wide receiver board?  Surprisingly, Marqise Lee is still on the board after numerous teams in the latter rounds went defensive heavy.  Speedster Martavis Bryant out of Clemson is obviously there, and might be a reach as the 46th pick, but I could see the Steelers double dipping at the WR position in the 2nd and 3rd rounds since they busted on getting a solid CB early.  Who else would they go with at wide out?  I’m sticking to my guns from a week ago when I said in a radio interview that the Steelers would go with Donte Moncrief out of Ole Miss.  Moncrief is everything the Steelers want in a rookie receiver for Big Ben – 6’2″ and a 4.40 40-yard.  He has a great work ethic, runs very solid routes and could be the go to guy in the red zone for Roethlisberger.

My prediction: Steelers double dip at the wideout position and go with Moncrief with the 46th overall and then take someone like Martavis Bryant.  A stretch? Sure.  But, not improbable, and certainly the Steelers have showed us they can shock us all.

The draft is always full of surprises, good or bad.  The 2nd round kicks off at 7pm EST.  Be sure to tune in and stop by here for news of who the Steelers select  and other musings about the AFC North draft picks.

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  • bk

    Ugggghhhh….. Gotta go WR now in the second…right? Who knows….Maybe another LB?
    hahaha… Allen Johnson, Moncrief, Matthews, oh well, maybe a 6-10 season is just what is needed to clean house from the GM, HC, on down…


      Logic would tell you they’re targeting a WR, Joker TE, OL or CB this afternoon. But after last night’s ridiculousness, I wouldn’t put it past the FO to draft a project D-Lineman or project OLB over offensive playmakers or CB help.

      • bk

        Yeah it’s tough… I really don’t see any CB’s left that are rated high enough to take in rd 2… you would think that a good WR will be there because Lee, Latimer, Adams, Robinson, Matthews, Moncrief, and Bryant are all there.. 3 teams ahead of them in the 2nd picked wr in rd 1 so that leaves 10 teams..I think Houston, Atl, Seattle, and Det have more pressing needs… so even if a run happens on wr’s only one of them will be there… that’s better than any CB in my opinion… maybe Jean-Baptiste or McGill…but that’s it… what I am worried about is if Hageman, Nix, Jernigan, or Tuitt is there (one should be) that they go that route.. if so, there will be slim pickens at WR by the end of the 3rd and CB value would probably be the pick then… so no WR or TE help until at least the 4th rd…

        • SDAZT.STEEL66

          If they go Hageman, Nix, Jernigan or Tuitt, I’ll simply laugh since the franchise is still stuck in 1982 and fails to realize the gaping holes which exist and will begin to exist on offense if they are not addressed.

          Taking D-Linemen who will ride the pine pony accomplishes nothing for anybody.

  • Nugzfan

    I think the 2nd round pick will be the best opportunity for the Steelers to pick up a quality player on the Dline. Several of the teams that are picking before them will probably make a run on receivers and QB’s.


      Ah yes, because the 20th ranked offense from last season that lost 113 catches, 1,300+ receiving yards and 16 touchdown receptions doesn’t need to be addressed with an explosive playmaker over a D-Lineman who won’t see the field until half of his rookie deal evaporates.

      • Nugzfan

        Ah yes, because a defense that only had 34 sacks on the season, was close to last in takeaways, and that currently lost 3 players on the dline doesn’t need help up front. They have Wheaton who didn’t exactly play a lot last season, so that is almost identical to your wise crack about not seeing a d-lineman until half of his rookie deal evaporates.

        • SDAZT.STEEL66

          Please, enlighten me when Shazier will see the field this fall with DLB still as the defensive coordinator? Name me the last rookie who started & held his job as a rookie under Dick LeBeau? Moreover, name me the last rookie defensive lineman who started a game for Dick LeBeau during his most recent run w/the Steelers?

          Furthermore, how will Shazier, an inside linebacker, create sacks and pocket collapse if he can’t fight off the blocks of stronger linemen who show much more quickness and technique than those in the Big Ten.

          Moreover, they need more depth at WR, AB, Moore and Wheaton simply won’t cut the mustard, and the depth at TE is an utter and complete joke.

          Also, Wheaton didn’t see playing time last season due to injury and the fact that Todd Haley is a moron who is more concerned with playing backup TEs like Spaeth, Paulson and Palmer as opposed to creating matchup issues so the pass can set up the run.

          Pittsburgh’s defense will have issues next season regardless of who they select, so they’d better bolster their offense for some offensive shootouts.
          Finally, 5 of the team’s top 6 offensive linemen are set to either hit free agency this spring or in the spring of 2016. Some capable depth & future starters must be found there as well.

          This team will do a disservice to their quarterback if they don’t address their pressing offensive needs now.

      • OVP66223

        SDAZT, hate to break it to you, but our defense was far worse than our offense. We had NO playmakers at all. Not a one. Can’t buy a sack because we’re slow and easily blocked. Can’t cover TE or RBs at all (slow LBs) and can’t get off the field on 3rd down. Shazier was a huge need…a lightning bolt of an LB. Tuitt and Nix were the only names I wanted to hear when they were both available and thankfully they took Tuitt (Nix has injury and motivation concerns apparently).

        The 3rd round pick seems like a bit of a reach, but as the fastest player at the combine (4.13) I have no problem with him being 175 lbs or whatever. The Steelers needed speed on both sides of the ball. Now, hopefully they’ll find a solid CB in rounds 4-7 (two would be nice).

        I am really liking this draft and thankfully they didn’t do something stupid and draft purely for need (and take mediocre players too high…like Dennard). Also, WR’s were already taken at a big time rate well before the Steelers second pick. Had we drafted a WR in round 2, we would have gotten round 4 talent. Just the way it was…thankfully we didn’t get yanked down the “need” drain and blow picks like other teams did.

        • SDAZT.STEEL66

          I hate to break it to you, but the offense lacked the necessary playmakers to be competitive last fall. Also, why waste early round picks, especially on overrated defensive players (Tuitt also has motivation concerns), when they will simply ride the pine for half (if not more) of their rookie contracts?

          Thankfully, this team got their collective crap together on Day 3 and knocked it out of the park after three swings-and-misses in the first two rounds. It’ll be all on Big Ben once again. I just hope they can extend him during the coming months.