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NFL Draft primer 2014: Better to receive or defend?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

NEW YORK — On this day between Stanley Cup playoff games up here, I’d like to lock in on the NFL Draft that opens Thursday night right here in the big city.

But why type when I can just blab on video in front of the draft site, Radio City Music Hall, about the Steelers’ possibilities for the first-round pick at 15th overall?

So, wide receiver or corner?

Which would be your choice?

The need is easy: It’s at corner. Ike Taylor is 34. He’s got one more year in him, if Dick LeBeau is lucky, and the only younger candidate for starting duty, Cortez Allen, lost his job last season to journeyman Willie Gay. That’s not depth. That’s despair.

So maybe Taylor was onto something when he blurted out on his TribLIVE Radio show last month that the team’s plan is to take a corner first. Maybe management will take that longer route, as it often takes longer than a full season to learn the position at the NFL level. Maybe they’ll bide their time and hope for the next Rod Woodson.

But then, this is the Steelers. Mike Tomlin’s all about the now, if you’ll recall. Even at the end of a lost 2013, he still had a lame duck Ryan Clark at safety rather than getting Shamarko Thomas valuable reps.

As noted in the video, but I’ll take the receiver.

Imagine bookend studs around Ben Roethlisberger, with Antonio Brown on one flank and, say, the golden hands of Texas A&M’s Mike Evans or the overpowering stature of Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin on the other on the other. That’s where the star power is in the all-pass NFL anymore.

Here’s Evans, who’s shooting up the charts and might not be there:

And here’s Benjamin, who probably will:

Take the corner in the second round, toss him a playbook and take a year to teach him right.

The corner to watch, in the event of a first-rounder, would be Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard:

>> Here’s the NFL Draft 2014 official page on It’s outrageous.

>> Here’s the Steelers Draft Central page on It’s equally outrageous.

>> Here’s TribLIVE’s Steelers page and our Steel Mill blog.

>> Here are all of beat writer Alan Robinson’s position-by-position breakdowns that have been running daily in the Trib for a couple weeks now: Kicker, linebacker, running back, quarterback, offensive line, defensive line, cornerbacksafety, and today’s final installment for wide receiver.

>> Here’s a sample of some of the exemplary work our editors, copy editors and page designers do for the print product, this one a double-page look at the Steelers’ history in the first round:

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 9.33.34 PM

>> Some recent Steelers features and news articles:

The Steelers won’t trade up, by Robinson.

Ben Roethlisberger talks QB class, by Robinson.

The defense has gotten younger, by Mark Kaboly.

And culled from that two-page display up there, here’s the online version of the franchise’s all-time best first-rounders, by Robinson. As well as a discussion of same from our Subway Final Word panel last weekend:

>> Thank you, as always, for reading. We’ll all have much, much more draft coverage in the days to come, including a column I’ll write from the Steelers’ South Side headquarters Thursday night.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. theplanisworking says:

    The Steelers need BOTH a WR and CB !

    The WR position takes a long time to learn also.

    The Steelers should take –

    Round 1 -WR
    Round 2 -CB
    Round 3 -DL
    Round 4 -LB.

    Unless someone they love falls to them. Cleveland is always good for a laugh on draft day. One thing is for certain……… the Steelers are more than one player away from the playoffs.

  2. Bizrow says:

    There will be “the best athelete available”

    My vote, thats who they will take

  3. TJA says:

    DEFENSE. To me it is always about defense.

  4. I would certainly hope that the Steelers, who will be drafting 15th, will do better this time than they have in recent years, since they certainly need to.

  5. KING says:

    The Steelers will trade down twice in 1st round accumulating picks.

    They will grab Dennard the corner at 20 & then look to take that 6’5 Benjamin WR in 2nd.

    Biggest Steelers Needs: CB, WR, NT, TE. KING

  6. Marty Stouffer says:

    I think CB is THE need, but I’m leery taking one in the first round since LeBeau’s system is difficult to learn. Grab one 2nd round. 1st round, I like Benjamin from FSU, WR. Give Ben another toy to play with.

  7. Mike A says:

    The draft seems to get later every season. Feels like the NFL lost their normal offseason rhythm. Loaded class adds some interest but seems like NFL has jumped the shark with 3 day spectacle & May timing.

  8. Alex Burleson says:

    Here’s the main issue with this notion of “do we go position A or position B?”: the draft is a fluid, ever-changing process and, inevitably, a talented prospect or two at a position that isn’t of pressing need will fall. The question then becomes; do we pull the trigger on that player? It happened in 2012. Dont’a Hightower was all but officially a Steeler. It was basically just a waiting game until Goodell walked to the podium and called his name. But lo and behold, consensus top ten prospect David DeCastro was inexplicably plummeting, and the Steelers pounced. After injury nullified his rookie campaign, DeCastro stepped up in year two and showed flashes of a future All-Pro. But, I’m just playing devil’s advocate here. Let’s look at whether a corner or receiver should be addressed with the 15th overall pick.

    THE CASE FOR CORNERBACK: Wide receiver depth in this draft is much riper than the top-heavy cornerback class. One could argue that there are five cornerbacks with first round talent (not necessarily first round grades), and then a steep drop-off from there into the land of potential and other unknowns. Wide receivers, however, run amok. Some have called this one of the best WR classes in draft history. The Steelers have brought in several receivers who may be available in the second stanza; Kelvin Benjamin, Allen Robinson, Donte Moncrief, and Martavis Bryant. All four are 6’3+, big-framed receivers. All the smoke there seems to lead to a fire, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers waited until round two to pull the trigger on a big guy to put across the lineup from Antonio Brown. Mike Evans is assuredly gone by the time Pittsburgh picks, and Kevin Colbert has all but publicly nixed the notion of trading up. This is one of the best draft classes he’s ever seen, so logically the only direction they’re moving is down to acquire more selections.

    SO WHO DO YOU PICK?: Scheme fit is often one of the most overlooked traits of a prospect when gauging where they’ll land in the draft. It’s not necessarily a case of taking who pundits think is the most talented player on the board and rolling with them. Which first round corner(s) fit the Steelers’ style of coverage? Kyle Fuller and Bradley Roby seem to be the most compatible with what Dick LeBeau wants to do. The two of them almost always lined up 6-10 yards off the #1 receiver, like Pittsburgh usually does with their corners. However, Fuller was much, much better at playing the ball due to having superior instincts and vision (24.2% of targets were completed against him, and he broke up 1 out of every 3 passes that targeted him) to Roby (49.1% of targets completed against; 1 pass breakup every 5 targets). He also had an absurd 7.1% of NFL caliber 11-20 yard passes completed against him. However, don’t discount Roby as a potential selection. It seems war rooms are generally split into two sides regarding the top four corners (Darqueze Dennard, Justin Gilbert, Fuller, Roby). Personnel men and scouts see Gilbert and Roby’s athleticism and movement skills and salivate over what they could turn them into. Coaches see highly instinctive guys with an innate feel for the game in Dennard and Fuller.

    So, in the end, it could come down to who bangs the table the loudest in the Steelers’ war room. But don’t be surprised to hear Fuller or Roby’s name called with the 15th pick in the draft.

  9. Wow, Alex, thanks for all that and welcome to our little world!

    Certainly hope to have you along for the ride with us Thursday night!

  10. still4writin says:

    CB first. I’ve wanted to get rid of Ike for years and years and years. We need a smart one who can learn the complex D in a hurry.
    Safety next if likely one available – otherwise, free agent. WR next. And linebackers! And a punter from SOMEWHERE!!!
    Never again draft O-line; (When we drafted Leon Searcy – a “surefire” draft pick (6th I think) – he was lured away in 3 yrs.) get free agents.

  11. Is Cleveland good for a laugh with Manziel?

  12. Jeff Bruder says:

    DK – I know you are in favor of the big WR, as is everyone it seems. But I was wondering what your opinion would be should the Steelers land an Odell Beckham Jr. or Brandon Cooks. Beckham plays bigger than his size and Cooks seems like an AB 2.0 but maybe faster. The Steelers seem to usually go with the smaller WR, and these two really seem to fit the mold should they go WR at 1.15.

  13. Jeff Bruder says:

    Get rid of Ike for years and years? Come on now. He was bad last year but you need to recognize he was damn good for this team for most of his time here. One of the most under appreciated players on the team. Hands down.

  14. If they don’t take Benjamin, they’ll take the corner. And realistically, there have been enough vibes/hints given off to make you think they want the corner, anyway. In other words, the receiver available had best be a real prize to talk them out of corner.

  15. Alex Burleson says:

    The NFL Draft is my favorite annual sporting event. I always come prepared. Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Speculation is nice, but it’s always easier once you have a name and a player attached to each draft slot.

  16. Robert says:

    Benjamin, imo, won’t be fast enough to contribute on the outside. To me, he’s a between-the-hashes receiver and Heath Miller is still around for that. The Steelers need a more explosive receiver. Maybe another AB-type in the 3rd rd?

    I like a corner if he’s big, physical, and can run (not necessarily polished). Teach him the rest. Blitzing teams need DBs that can slow down routes.
    Personally, I’d like to see them get a LB. I’m not sold on Worilds or Jones and Foote is gone, not likely to return. I like Barr from UCLA if he’s available in the first. Dee Ford from Auburn in the 2nd and maybe Marcus Smith from Louisville in the 2nd or 3rd. The great Steelers defenses always had guys who could get to the QB.

  17. Jeff Bruder says:

    Kyle Fuller or Denard? Gilbert doesn’t seem to fit the mold , he has great ball skills but isn’t a tackler.

  18. Jeff Bruder says:

    Don’t give up on Jones yet. Rookies take some time. Everyone knew he needed to gain strength when he came into the league. Let’s see how he shows up this year.

  19. Shane Dowd says:

    WR has incredible depth this year, so much so that it could cause top QBs to slip in the draft. If Dennard from MSU or Fuller from Virginia Tech is available, I see the Steelers taking one of the two. Both are tough and have great zone coverage. If both are gone, Beckham Jr. from LSU is the best option at WR.

  20. Jeff Bruder says:

    I’m a big fan of Fuller’s game.

  21. Shane Dowd says:

    He fits the CB mold for LeBeau’s system with good zone coverage, I would be happy with both though

  22. Shane Dowd says:

    Sean Spence has been cleared this year to come back. If he performs up to par then LB might not be a need. If Worilds can keep up his production then keeping Jones left side could help in the long run.

  23. Jeff Bruder says:

    No doubt. Not sure how anyone could complain if they walked away with either Denard or Fuller in round one. Wait, this is PGH, people will still complain.

  24. Shane Dowd says:

    It’s kind of a requirement for us to complain.

  25. Shane Dowd says:

    Cleveland will take Sammy Watkins with second pick and take best available QB with second first round pick. And yes they will be good for a laugh after Manziel’s first season. Defenses will figure him out after first season. He lacks football vision to make the check down plays and doesn’t have the size to escape pressure. Speed won’t save him in the NFL.

  26. Shane Dowd says:

    Dennard won’t be there at 20. Too many others looking. With this scenario Fuller is the best bet.

  27. Cobra39 says:

    Potential picks at 15 if available ranked by order of preference:

    1. Mike Evans – WR (probably won’t be there but should be a beast in the NFL)
    2. Justin Gilbert – CB (best pure cover corner in the draft; fits the scheme; 50-50 he’ll be there)
    3. Kyle Fuller – CB (better at run support than Gilbert; fits scheme; 70-30 he’ll be there)
    4. Darqueze Dennard – CB (not a scheme fit — man corner — and he’s grabby; very good in run support. Should be there.
    5. Odell Beckham – WR (great hands; great route running; very good after the catch. NFL-ready WR; not the “big” WR that everyone seemingly wants but there’s a very low bust factor with this guy)
    6. Eric Ebron – TE – (too many drops but has still great hands to make amazing catches. Great physical talent that can be red zone threat and stretch the field).
    7. Anthony Barr – OLB (would be very hard to pass on this great physical talent if he slides to 15, which may happen)

    Trade down candidate: Kelvin Benjamin – WR (huge bust potential IMO but he’s the biggest of the “big” WRs; could help in red zone year one but needs to learn to run routes much better)

  28. Eric Bowser says:

    Players of interest who could be available when Steelers pick at 15

    1. Darqueze Dennard, CB
    2. Justin Gilbert, CB
    3. Eric Ebron, TE
    4. C.J. Mosley, ILB
    5. Kelvin Benjamin, WR

    It is time to find a TE to be a threat down the middle of the field, allow Miller to stay underneath and help block. It could open up more room for Brown and whomever is on the opposite side.

    Curious why I haven’t seen one mock draft picking C.J. Mosley at 15 with the Steelers. Does anyone really think Vince Williams is all that good? I don’t.

  29. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I agree on WR, CB and then DL.
    Obviously….It’ hard to tell how the chips will fall till Thursday night.
    As for Johnny Manziel….I’m not hoping he goes to the Browns, but he doesn’t scare me much at all.

  30. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Can’t see them going Roby at #15 after his drunken car episode a couple weeks ago.
    He’s also suppose to be more of a hit or miss guy.
    You don’t really want that at #15.

    I’m usually against trading down, but this might be the time to do it.
    Evans was the guy I wanted months ago, but that doesn’t look possible.
    Otherwise…You could probably get a similar CB and WR trading down.
    But keep in mind, you have to have a team that is willing to trade at that point in time.

  31. Shane Dowd says:

    It’s mostly due to durability issues. Plus the Steelers are playing wait and see with Sean Spence and Williams

  32. Ghost says:

    Absolutely right on Ike. He was a steal as a 4th round pick who, when he is done, will have given us a dozen years of almost always shutdown coverage.

  33. Ghost says:

    I don’t claim to know diddly squat about Dennard. But if the site is right that his ceiling is as a number 2 cover guy, then he’s not good enough. We don’t usually get to draft as high as No.15. We also are — face it — at least in semi-rebuilding mode. We need to shoot for the brass ring. Settling for a number 2 cover guy is something the Pirates of old would have done. Whatever the position, let’s go out and get a gamechanger.

  34. JVV says:

    My mock is as follows:
    1. (15) Odell Beckham WR
    2. (46) DaQuan Jones DT
    3. (97) Adrian Hubbard OLB
    4. (118) Jon Halapio OG
    5. (157) Pierre Desir CB
    5a. (173) Matt Patchan OT
    6. (192) Rob Blanchflower TE
    6a. (215) Tyler Gaffney RB
    7. (230) Jeff Janis WR

    I hope the Steelers don’t waste a 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd rounder on the CB position. As stated they like to ween them like children and the defense takes some time to click for newcomers it seems. Joyner, McGill, and my pick Desir would all still be available late 3rd or 4th round.

    As for my Gaffney pick, the Pirates drafted him so… that’s quite the seal of approval for talent, how bad could he be???

  35. JVV says:

    Odell Beckham, hot off the presses, is a more refined, polished version of Antwaan Randle El in my opinion. Just as fast, better hands, and a more precise route runner. Big Ben has won SuperBowls throwing to midgets like Randle El… Cedrick Wilson… even Santonio “hashpipe” Holmes was only like 5 11″ on a good day. So I don’t feel the need for this giant lanky behemoth on the outside as much as most. We need TALENT, few players in this draft have more raw skill than Odell Beckham Jr.

  36. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Latest mock draft I saw was the Steelers taking OLB dude from UCLA.

    Tough question to answer, as others have stated, it depends on what happens in front of them.

    Clear cut, no weird picks (Raiders and Browns are ahead of them, as usual) then the Steelers need to take the best corner available.

    WR is very deep in this years draft and is love to see them take PSU’s Allen Robinson in the 2nd round, if he’s there.

    The real question is, which round is the wasted pick?

    Landry Jones anybody? Who knows, maybe he’s the QB project of the future.


    First…..Steelers could really use that third rounder they used last year on a 5’8″ safety….lets hope Shamarko Thomas works out.

    I would like to see the Steelers take tight end TROY NIKLAS. Without that third round pick getting Niklas is unlikely……don’t know if I use a second rounder on him. But he would be fun to watch….6’7″ 270lb’s good blocker and decent in the passing game….a beast!

    DE DOMINIQUE EASLEY would of been another possible pick at our lost third rounder…..

    If they can pick up a second or third rounder in a move down I’m for that…..otherwise DENNARD, FULLER OR WR BECKHAM would be fine with me.

  38. Impossible not to pull for Spence. Given the nature of his injury, though, he’s anything but a lock on the depth chart.

  39. Whoever had them with an OLB shouldn’t be doing anyone’s mock.

  40. Jandy says:


  41. JAL says:

    JAL’s Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates Organizational Probable Pitching Chart

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Did the Pirates Make Gregory Polanco a Fair Offer?

    Prospect Watch: Andrew Lambo Misses Second Game With Bruised Thumb

    Prospect Highlights: Your Daily Alen Hanson Highlight

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Overturned call leads to wait-off Pirates victory

    Postgame: Reversal of fortune, Bucs win, 2-1

    7 Rumbunter

    Pirates Add Phil Irwin To Leaky Shark Tank

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Win 2-1 On A Walk-Off Inside-the-Park HR (Upon Review)

    Polanco’s Offer…


    Game 33: Pirates 2 Giants 1

    10 SB Nation

    Billy Hamilton out, Cincinnati Reds outfield falling apart

  42. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates Giants Game Preview

    12 Chicago Sun Times

    Manager Rick Renteria has Jeff Samardzija’s number

    13 Beaver County Times

    Upon further review, Pirates win

    14 Pirates Site

    On video review, Pirates awarded wild walk-off win

    NOTEBOOK: Bucs option Locke, recall Irwin from Triple-A

    15 SF Chronicle

    Giants fall to Pirates on walk-off replay reversal

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Red Sox’s Grady Sizemore finishes Reds in 12th

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    For once, Brewers get little in relief

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Gordon: Cards can fix their problems easily

    19 Fangraphs

    A Discussion with John Rosengren about Juan Marichal and John Roseboro

    20 Sweetspot

    Pirates get the right call, but at what cost?

  43. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Kevin Colbert is the right man for the job

    Steelers are improving even before the draft and well after free agency


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Premier League Projections: Man City’s Title to Lose?

    23 BBC Football

    Debutant Wilson inspires Man Utd
    Greg Dyke: Football Association to look at introduction of B teams

    24 World Soccer

    Will a season without silverware prompt Mourinho to turn to youth?


    25 Pensburgh

    The Goalie who Bounced Back

    Pens Points Wednesday: Game 7 Bonanza, Pens Rest and Learn

  44. Wild Bill says:

    My progressive hair loss has been accelerated over time by watching plays Ike could have made and didn’t. Interceptions dropped, etc. it’s more than time to find his successor.

    Best corner left on the Steeler board at 15, unless they think they can trade down a couple at that moment and get the same guy. Best wideout left on their board with their next pick.

  45. Wild Bill says:

    And when do you people who posted up there actually sleep??

  46. JoeyBats says:

    Eric…I like your list…. (because it matches mine…….with one exception ==> ;-)
    * Vince Williams is REALLY slowwwww….and can’t play the pass…at all.
    * The Steelers Depot guy had CJ Moseley in his early mock drafts.
    * If the Steelers stay @ 15…..don’t forget about Odell Beckham Jr.
    * I like Benjamin for # 1…but only if they trade down to mid – 20’s or so…..
    * ….if they trade down (accumulating a # 3…look for a possible D.Lineman)

  47. JoeyBats says:

    *** DISCLAIMER ***

    Bradley Roby comes with the appropriate Mike Adams/Ohio State “wrapper”

    (read the entire article….not the first encounter with police) …. //sigh// …..great tools…no toolbox. :-(

  48. scapper says:

    Kind of hard to sleep when you’re memorizing draft data. That’s really what the average fan’s draft acumen amounts to. (By average fan, I mean EVERYONE.) We can’t tell the difference between the abilities of the guard from Clemson versus the guard from USC, but a person can sound pretty draft-astute if he can read and memorize all the stuff from the alleged experts.

  49. Luis says:

    I like the thinking and in-depth knowledge shared! Hoping to visit Pittsburgh to see again to see the team. Was a pleasure meeting the yinzers! Just wanted to say I would go for the defense heavy during this draft.

  50. Paul Lotus says:

    Unless Mike Evans somehow falls to them, which is highly unlikely, they have to take a corner. The cornerback depth chart is frightening. Everything I’ve read is that this draft is deeper at receiver than any other position. I wouldn’t be opposed to them doubling up at corner in the first two rounds, but I seriously doubt they would do that. While we definitely need another receiver, we have AB, Lance Moore, and Markus Wheaton should contribute. One guy who is intriguing is Anthony Bart. Living on SoCal, I’ve seen plenty of this guy and he’s very intriguing.

  51. Dom says:

    The rumor of the day is that the Browns are not intested in taking Manziel with the fourth overall pick.

  52. Dom says:

    Mike Evans would be worth the #15 selection but not Kelvin Benjamin.

    It wouldn’t be out of the question for Benjamin to fall to us in the second round.

  53. Wild Bill says:

    Hi Paul. Does Bizrow have your hometown for our index of loonies? If not, just post it here and he will add you.

  54. Jandy says:

    That would be the smart move…are you sure, Dom? ;)

  55. Jandy says:

    ++ Good job, Wild One.

    Paul, we’d be happy to add you to the Asylum :)

  56. BillyBaduka says:

    Well said Alex. Good post.

    I really like Fuller, Roby has too many negatives for me at 15.

  57. Dom says:

    Where’s Mike Evans? I presume you feel he’ll be gone by the time the Steelers are up but I don’t think it’s completely out of the question for him to slide.

    Mosley probably isn’t the best fit for the Steelers. From everything I have read, the Steelers seem content going with Williams next season

    Benjamin is too much of a reach to nab in the middle of the first.

  58. BillyBaduka says:

    I agree on Ike.

    What gets me about that post isn’t the Ike comment, his lack of hands have been frustrating, it’s the comment about never drafting OL bad then using Searcy from 20 years ago as the why. Faneca alone counters that.

    Steelers haven’t retained high draft pick WR much more frequently than OL over last 14 years; Burress, Holmes, Wallace. WR would seem to be much more at risk for being short term than OL.

  59. Dom says:

    The only way I see the Steelers selecting Odell Beckham Jr. is if Ebron, Evans, Dennard, and Gilbert are all gone and we’re unable to trade down.

    We need a tall WR and Beckham doesn’t bring that to the table.

  60. BillyBaduka says:

    Evans will be gone. Steelers take him if he falls but I don’t see that happening.

    They do seem content with Williams.

    I agree with you on Benjamin at 15.

  61. Dom says:

    Desir’s stock as increased. It wouldn’t surprise me if he is gone before the 4th round.

    The mock looks good to me.

  62. Jim S. says:

    Cleveland has a lot of draft picks, and I think they have actually been quietly building depth and talent for a couple of years. It has not shown up in W/L because they don’t have a solid QB yet, and are missing a few other pieces. I loved their trade of Richardson – admitted a mistake and got rid of a guy who was not worth the 1st Rd slot where they chose him at a time where they still managed to get a #1 back.

    They aggressively went after Harbaugh, and botched it. But, I thought it signaled that they will do what it takes to be competitive, which has not always been the case in the past. I think they’ll be a handful if they get an impact QB and continue to add other pieces.

  63. Arriba Wilver says:

    Googled this from SB Nation. ” The third round pick out of Miami back in 2012 suffered a torn ACL and LCL while also dislocating his kneecap and damaging a nerve in his leg.”

    That hurts to even read it.

  64. BillyBaduka says:

    If it’s Barr, why?

    Aside from Timmons the LBs have questions; Williams – serviceable but that’s about it, Jones – will he reach potential, Worilds – one year wonder playing for contract? Even if Worilds does repeat his performance he’s only signed for one year.

    I like these guys and am pulling for all of them, but if a stand out pass rusher is there at 15, I think it’s considered. Best way to make Allen and Gay better (and the young corner taken later in this draft), get to the QB early and often.

  65. BillyBaduka says:

    Agreed Dom.

  66. Dom says:

    Mel Kiper Jr has Benjamin going to Philly and Todd McShay has him falling to the 49ers with the third to last pick in the first round.

  67. BillyBaduka says:

    I understand DK’s point about being elite on one side of the ball. But 15 is too high to take Benjamin IMO. Too much chance for a bust and then neither squad elite and passed up good chance to shore up Defense.

    If they don’t take Fuller or Dennard, I’d rather see them shore up LB and take a pass rusher, like Barr or Ford, or ILB Mosley.

    With the WR depth in this draft I think they should go CB or LB in Rd 1 because the drop off at those positions. Much better chance getting 2 impact players going CB-WR than WR-CB.

    I think I’d rather see them take one of the top LT there than Benjamin. Just too much risk for me at 15.

  68. Dom says:

    IMO, it’s far more important to nab the best player available as oppose to obtaining someone that fills a need.

  69. pattonbb says:

    I’d like to see the Steelers grab a big WR, but that will probably be the 2nd and/or 3rd round pick. I think they’ll trade down and get a CB like Gilbert or Fuller, unless Darqueze Dennard is still on the board at 15 (he won’t be).

  70. Jim S. says:

    I’m hoping Dennard is available at our spot in Rd 1. If so, grab him. Our CB play has been bad.

    As for WR, yes we need one but I don’t think it is as important right now as getting Dennard would be unless Watkins is available. Watkins would be a slam dunk, but I don’t see him being available under any circumstances. I like Evans as well, but I would choose Dennard over him based on greater need.

    What’s the deal with Markus Wheaton? Isn’t he expected to contribute? I know he’s not as good as the top handful of WR in this year’s draft, but I am more comfortable with him stepping up than I am of our defense without adding a blue chip CB.

    I actually wish we had kept the choice we dealt to Cleveland in order to take Thomas last year. I hope Thomas becomes a good player, but that still seems like a question to me.

  71. theplanisworking says:

    DK, according to 50% of people, yes.
    They are the Browns, man! ;)

  72. Dom says:

    PLENTY of tall WRs will be available after the first round.

    Jordan Mathews-6’3”
    Allen Robinson-6’3”
    Donte Moncrief-6’2”
    Brandon Coleman-6’6”

    There is no need to reach in the first round.

  73. Dom says:

    From what I read, Wheaton is currently the #2 starter.

    Personally, I feel the jury is still out on Shamarko. We’ll have a better feel what career he’ll have after this season.

  74. Dom says:

    I think the Browns will take Bridgewater, which would be a good pick IMO.

    He and Big Ben have a lot of similar characteristics.

  75. Dom says:

    I don’t see the Steelers trading down in the first. At best it would be doubtful.

    The teams most willing to move up are the ones who are in need of a QB.

    That means we would be obtaining an early 2nd round pick as every team after us in the first were playoff contenders and are not in need of a QB. Of course, that means we’ll be going from the #15 pick to like the #35 overall pick, which is way too far for a decline in quality.

    If a team in need of a QB was willing to deal with the Steelers for the #15 pick, what would it take for you to part with that selection?

    For me, going down twenty spots in the draft would require obtaining the team’s 2nd rounder in this year’s draft and first rounder in next year’s draft. That’s unreasonable as the team making the deal could just simply take a QB with their first rounder in 2015 and thus negating the rationale of moving up in the first place.

    Now if a playoff contending team wants to move up to obtain one of the studs, they would then have to move up before we select to something like the top ten selections. Making it even less likely that we’ll trade down.

  76. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know what the return is for going from #15 to #35-ish, Dom. But, it seems like it would be a nice haul. If a team would not give us their #1 next year, as you say, maybe it is their #2 for next year plus one more pick – maybe #4? I know they have charts that show approximate value.

    If we think we can still get a very good CB at #35, then I’d be all for getting extra picks. This team lacks quality depth now at most positions.

  77. Jim S. says:

    Brown is shifty, Wheaton can fly, we just signed a hands guy, and these guys you list are big. I would go that route before picking up a WR in Rd 1 – unless, of course, Watkins is available by some miracle.

  78. JoeyBats says:

    agree….everyone seems to put Evans in the slot(s) right after Sammy Watkins…..going in selections # 7 (Tampa) through # 10 (Detroit)

  79. JoeyBats says:

    ….a rumored scenario has been the 49ers…….giving up their # 1 pick & a 3rd round pick this year

  80. JoeyBats says:

    ……sorry ///typing malfunction////

    ……rest of the rumor >>>> 49ers like Anthony Barr, UCLA, OLB……IF he is available @ # 15…….for a possible backup/REPLACE OUT to the very, VERY troubled Alden Smith

  81. Jim S. says:

    ++++, AW.

  82. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, JoeyB.

  83. GAWTS2009 says:

    True but man what a determined guy. Fits the old steeler mold and these new steelers need more of that.

  84. GAWTS2009 says:

    “If you aint complaining you aint cheering hard enough” – forget who said that during the 2009 superbowl party but I was dying of laughter.

  85. Naterosboro says:

    Steelers & NFL Draft thoughts….

    * I want the Steelers to take a CB with that 1st pick. I would love it to be Dennard. I see CB as the largest area of need for this team.

    * I see the Steelers other areas of need in this order: S (and SS more specifically with Troy on his last legs and signing Mike Mitchell to the 5 year deal), ILB, WR, DL (NT specifically).

    * I have doubts about Benjamin’s speed. Yes, his size will allow him to go over DBs, but you have to be able to create some separation in the NFL.

    * It’s a bit of a Catch22 at the moment. All of the rules & play are gearing towards teams that have great passing offenses. But then Seattle goes and blows that all up by showing what a dominant defense can still do in the NFL.

    * I want the Steelers to get back to being a dominant defense, especially against the run. They were 21st against the run last season (115.6 ypg). That is unacceptable for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    * I’m very interested to see Blake Bortles in the NFL. I love his size and athleticism. I see Ben 2.0 in him.

    * Johnny Manziel is going to be a better pro than a lot of people think. I think he can have an impact like RG3 in his rookie year. Durability is still a huge question for me though, due to size and the way he plays.

    Have good day all!

  86. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bill Nunn has died, he was 89. How ironic on the eve of the draft. May he rest in peace.

  87. scapper says:

    Guy’s name isn’t as well known as it should be when it comes to his role with the 70’s Steelers.

  88. Ghost says:

    No Super Steelers of the 70’s without Bill Nunn. If I were a believer, I ask that Nunn may resume giving the Steelers sage draft advice from his new place. ;-)

  89. Milo Hamilton says:

    If you’re a fan of Steelers history, please take the time to read this.

  90. Dom says:

    To the Steelers?

  91. Dom says:

    Sorry I didnt see your second post.

    Is a third rounder enough to warrant going back more than a dozen spots?

    I would want more than that.

  92. cobra39 says:

    What a great guy, and a great loss. I imagine the Steelers will recognize him Thursday night somehow.

    Sad that he passed so close to the draft, which is where he contributed so much to the Steelers’ success.

    Steeler Nation mourns.

  93. BillyBaduka says:

    Thanks for posting the link Milo.

  94. SeanAY says:

    Personally I’m not a fan of trading back unless it’s for a king’s ransom or you are POSITIVE you will get your guy. Conversely, I’m OK with reaching on a pick if you don’t think you can get them further down the line; if that’s the player you want, go get them, and let everyone else talk about how you took him three spots too early. Mel Kiper isn’t the one that controls your job.

    I think I’m more or less in agreement with everyone else that, unless one of the stud WRs is available, take one of the three corners (Gilbert, Dennard, Fuller) in the first round. They’re such a precious commodity in that they are in high demand and the good ones are harder to get later in the draft.

    The Steelers have shown they can produce gold in the middle rounds with receivers. Unless Evans or Watkins is available – and it’s likely Watkins is gone within the first three picks, so don’t even dream about that – take the corner.

  95. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Late to the party, have to sleep sometime.

    It was ESPN and I believe, Scott Brown.

  96. Agreed on Ike. He had one bad playoff game vs. Denver but otherwise was really solid until last season.

  97. I messaged Lab to let him know that was also a fine piece of writing. You can feel the passion in there.

  98. I’m not allowing Watkins to even creep into my thought process. Consensus top five, regardless of teams’ positional needs.

  99. cobra39 says:

    No one thought in 1987 that a certain DB out of Purdue would be available with the 10th pick. One must believe!

    On the other hand, you’re right. We’ve no chance at Watkins.

  100. Milo Hamilton says:

    Absolutely. What a great life. What a contribution, on multiple fronts.

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