After selecting Ryan Shazier with the 15th overall selection yesterday the Steelers will move forward with the task of bringing young talent to their aging team. Tomlin and company went out of their way to point out that they will not be drafting according to need last night, but something tells me they will need to address their two biggest needs during day two of the draft.
Supposedly this year’s draft is “full of receivers capable of being starters in the 2nd round” and many believe the Steelers will look to fill this need with their 2nd round pick. If this is the case many expect the Steelers to pick Allen Robinson out of Penn State.
The way I see it there is likely to be some trades in the first ten picks of the second round by teams looking to move up in order to secure the guy they really covet. If this is the case the Steelers could luck out by having solid options at both receiver and cornerback, their two greatest areas of need. This would allow them to have the best of both worlds, finding value at a position of need, filling the depth cart while not breaking from strategy. Here are some players I feel the Steelers should target in the second round of today’s draft.
If the Steelers decide to go receiver:
Cody Latimer ~ Indiana
Latimer is likely to be gone by the time the Steelers pick but if a few teams trade up to get the remaining quarterback prospects he could be the one who falls. As I detailed in the Day One preview, Latimer is a tough receiver with size and speed. He would be a perfect complement to Antonio Brown and would improve the Steelers passing game immediately
Allen Robinson ~ Penn State
Robinson would be the big target Roethlisberger was supposedly promised and given his ties to Penn State and his popularity in the region his selection would go far to energize the base. I’m not buying it. I don’t believe the Steelers will use this pick on a receiver and if they do I don’t believe they will take Robinson with the value of the talent that is likely to be on the board when their turn to pick arrives.
If there is a run on receivers and Robinson is available I say go ahead and select him. He has the skills to be an NFL starting receiver. The defense is a more pressing need for the Steelers though and that is why I’m not in on Robinson being the sure pick.
Marqise Lee ~ USC
Part of Lee’s slide down the draft board comes from familiarity with his flaws given the nature of the USC program. Throughout most of his Trojans career the program was in flux and eventually crumbled in public view. Lee never really had that moment to stand out on a larger scale that may have been afforded him if he had attended another institution or had the probationary penalties facing the program had not been so severe.
While there are questions about his knee, Lee is a dynamic receiver who could excel in the right system in the NFL. While Latimer is my favorite of these three he is likely to be off the board when the Steelers get to pick and if Lee is available I wouldn’t give a second thought to selecting him.
If the Steelers decide to pick a Cornerback:
Pierre Desir CB Lindenwood
The small school prospect has the athletic ability and unlimited potential to be viewed as the best cornerback that came out of this draft ten years down the line. However there is just so much of an unknown when selecting a player like this. It’s the Hail Mary option. Going for it all.
I would love the Steelers to take a chance here, but as I watched his highlight video I had to search good for the correct spelling of Ricardo Colclough and if Ricardo Colclough’s name comes up in a description of you then that should be all the red flag needed to pass. 50/50 shot at being either good or bad in the end, but he is likely to hit one of the extremes of that scale.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska
This is the player I would select if I was the general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I am not and they will likely pick someone not even mentioned in this article. The Steelers have their own boards and own rankings that only apply to the Steelers. They will inevitably select whoever they want to no matter the analytical suggestions that it may not be the best choice because they can and because they always do.
SJB reminds me of a young Ike Taylor in many ways, mostly because of his raw skill. However unlike Taylor SJB played at one the largest and most tradition laden programs in the country and therefore is slightly more polished given the level of coaching that comes with attending such a football factory. He will instantly upgrade the secondary giving it the type of weapon it has not had at cornerback in decades. He fits in perfectly with the direction the NFL is heading in terms of gameplay, a direction the Steelers will inevitably have to assimilate to meet the demands of no matter their resistance to change. SJB is the future of the Steelers secondary if they are smart enough to draft him
Louis Nix DT Notre Dame
Here is the one I would be interested in. If the Steelers are using this draft to build a new defense and Nix happens to be available then I say you go get him. DT is no longer the Steelers most pressing need, but it is in no way a strength. If you selected Nix and factor in Shazier you have a pretty dynamic middle of your defense forming and I would love to see how the draft progressed from there.
Prediction: The Steelers select SJB with their 2nd round pick.