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Plenty of Opinion On Who The Steelers Should Take in Round One

2015 NFL Scouting Combine

There’s plenty of opinions about just who the Steelers should take in Thursday’s NFL Draft in round one. Today we take a look around at a number of mock drafts and who folks think the Steelers should draft at number 22.

The MMQB Mock Draft – Peter King

22. Pittsburgh: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

Very good athlete, and though at 6-0 and 188 he’s not the perfect Steeler physical type, he’s a terrific cover player. The Steelers have a desperate need, and Johnson will fill it nicely. Three other teams in 20s—Panthers, Ravens, Colts—would have interest if Pittsburgh passes on Johnson. I’ll tell you what appeals to Mike Tomlin about Johnson: There’s not a more competitive cornerback in this draft.

Walter Football

22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska

It always seems like a talented prospect falls to the Steelers every April, and that could be Randy Gregory this year. Pittsburgh is usually reluctant to select a conversion player in the first round, but Gregory is too talented for the front office not to consider him. He would also fill a huge need as an edge rusher, as the Steelers desperately need to improve their ability to get to the quarterback.

Some of Gregory’s issues are documented. He tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine and then reportedly showed up below 230 pounds on some of his pre-draft visits. There are even more dire issues that haven’t been brought to the public’s attention yet. However, the Steelers took another troubled player from the Big Ten a few years ago when they spent a second-round pick on Mike Adams. They checked Adams out, and they were content with what they saw. Perhaps history will repeat itself.

CBS Sports

22. Pittsburgh Steelers — Eric Rowe, CB, Utah: New defensive coordinator Keith Butler inherits a once-oroud unit in desperate need of an infusion of youth and speed. After heavy investments in the front seven over the past several years, the Steelers may turn to the secondary. Rowe has the length and physicality Pittsburgh has traditionally valued at the position and offers versatility, after starring at free safety earlier in his career.

Pete Prisco – CBS Sports

22. Steelers – Landon Collins, SS, Alabama: He’s a safety in the same Troy Polamalu mold. He can play near the line of scrimmage to cause all kinds of problems for a defense. I worry about him in space, but Polamalu wasn’t great there either.

Jeremy Fowler – ESPN

22. Pittsburgh Steelers Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut

The Steelers haven’t drafted a defensive back in the first round since — you guessed it — recently retired Troy Polamalu in 2003. The cracks are starting to show in the secondary, and the 6-foot-1, 199-pound Jones is brimming with upside after a sub-4.4 40 at his pro day and a 44.5-inch vertical jump at the combine. Jones will need to refine his man coverage in the NFL, but who better to teach defensive technique than the Steelers? It’s time to invest in a young cornerback high in the draft. — Jeremy Fowler

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Plenty of Opinion On Who The Steelers Should Take in Round One | Sports Feedr

  2. DrGeorge

    April 30, 2015 at 9:17 am

    This draft class has everyone shaking their heads. The Vikings and Redskins have joined the list of teams that have publicly announced that they would like to trade down in this draft. The Eagles and Browns are reportedly working feverishly to swap picks for Sam Bradford and perhaps other consideration. The pundits can’t decide on even the first five picks. All of which suggests that this is one of the weakest draft classes in years. The Steelers best strategy this year is to ignore the hype and draft players who have the potential to develop, with coaching, into capable NFL players. Fans will question every pick this year, because there no “sure things” after the first five picks. And in a way, that is unfortunate for the Steelers, for we are desperately in need of several sure things from this draft.

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