Note: I’m just going to be honest. I ran out of time today. I am taking my wife out to dinner tonight and I didn’t have time to finish this. So it kind of trails off at the end. Apologies.
So the Steelers got their cornerback. It’s quite likely it wasn’t the one they wanted. William Jackson III of Houston went off the board with pick 24 to the Bungles and Burns was likely the next on the board. So now he is a Steeler.
Can we please start calling him Mr. Burns?
While he is a project at least he is a project worth taking on. It might take a bit, but at this point it doesn’t matter. They needed a corner for quite sometime. Unfortunately, the truth is we still need more corners.
Before I get into my day 2 predictions I’d like to reflect on a conversation I had with the one and only Juan Kool the day after the draft a year or two ago. About what fuels the obsession with the NFL draft. Perhaps with drafts in general. It’s really the only event in which all franchises play a role. It’s the merger between college football and pro football. It’s an event. I have always loved the draft. Even if it means watching the Steelers defy logic at all times.
Day 2 Predictions
The needs are still the same. The Steelers need more help in their secondary, likely a safety, and they need a DT. The Burns selection is a signal that this year they are drafting for need. So I expect the two choices made today to be at these positions. However there is still the wild card possibility if there is a guy the Steelers are really high on. I would say that Hunter Henry would be a possibility if he were to fall. But the Green signing makes that pretty unnecessary.
The name of the day seems to be Jeremy Cash of Duke. He is a safety the Steelers are high on and would fill a major need. Unfortunately the chances of him still being there in round three are now slim and they may have to reach with their second round pick to get him. That is if he is still on the board.
I expected the Steelers to go Defensive Tackle in the first and they did not. Now I expect them to go DT in the second, but again, they may not. Because Cash may be too tempting. And if that is the guy they want than they should do it. Even if it’s a reach.
Franchises are god at certain things. As good as the Steelers are at selecting wide receivers in later rounds they are equally as bad at selecting defensive backs. If Cash is an NFL player than get him. If he is gone go value to make up for the First round reach and pick a DT. Here is a look at who may be available with pick #58.
Andrew Billings, Baylor
Does Billings drop to pick 58? If so the Steelers could get value in the second to make up for their slight reach in the first.
Austin Johnson, Penn State
If this pick happens expect all out Yinzer pandemonium. While Johnson might not be in the top-tier of prospect he is a solid member of tier 2. He is better than what they have currently, which is nothing.
Jarran Reed, Alabama
While A’Shawn Robinson has grabbed the attention perhaps Reed is the better prospect. At least he is on par with Robison. Could be a good selection.
Of course, this could be the draft they go all out on the secondary.
So let’s look at safeties other than Cash.
How about Justin Simmons of Boston College? Here is a preview of Simmons from the PG:
Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin talked about “hearts and smarts” this week when discussing the failures they’ve had in drafting corners and safeties in recent years. Well, Simmons is smart, tall (6-2) and athletic and could be a perfect fit as a free safety for the Steelers. Simmons’ selection means Mike Mitchell would move to strong safety, but that’s OK. Mitchell is a physical player with the skill set to bounce back and forth between both safety positions.
Well… Let’s get to it.
With the 58th selection of the NFL Draft the Pittsburgh Steelers select:
Jeremy Cash, Safety, Duke
If the Steelers go Safety in Round Two it’s likely they go DT in Round Three.
Bronson Kaufusi, DT, BYU
Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State
A small school athlete that would be a swing for the fences pick. With the lack of picks the Steelers have in this draft they need to go for it at some point. This could be it.
D.J Reader, DT, Clemson
Three big DT’s that could fill a need. That is if they are still needed.
If the Steelers go DT in Round Two expect them to go Safety here. Three choices would be:
Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah
T.J. Green, S, Clemson
Deandre Houston-Carson, S, William & Mary
A Safety of William & Mary would be a story that wrote itself.
With the 89th pick of the NFL draft the Pittsburgh Steelers select….
Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State