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.
Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers