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Kaboly: Not the pick you wanted, but …


I know what you are thinking because most of us were thinking the same thing when the Steelers used the 15th pick in Thursday’s NFL Draft to take Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier.

Why, oh, why?

Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard – the guy who the Steelers brought in for a visit and showed up in force at the cornerbacks’ Pro Day was there for the taking … and the Steelers passed (and maybe for good reason. He didn’t get drafted until nine picks later).

Now, the Steelers filled a glaring need with the pick of Shazier. The Mack inside linebacker position is in shambles with the team not really being able to rely on Vince Williams or Sean Spence, but wasn’t there a bigger need at cornerback?

That’s surely debatable, to a point.

They do need a young cornerback to be able to replace Ike Taylor next year and they still might get that in the second or third round, so that should take a little sting off the pick.

But when you peel everything away and get passed the shock of the pick (shock because nobody had him on their mock draft), it could end up being a pretty dynamic selection.

He’s fast. He’s experienced. He’s young. And did I mention that he is fast?

When asked what the Steelers clocked him at the draft, Mike Tomlin said “fast.”

Like 4.4 fast. Or 4.36 fast like he ran at his Pro Day.

The Steelers needed a playmaker on defense and Shazier appears to have the talent to be that guy. When you consider you can pair him with another speedster like Lawrence Timmons on the inside and it can prove a lethal combination for the Steelers especially if Jarvis Jones continues to develop and Jason Worilds picks up where he left off.

My one issue is that could you have traded down and still get Shazier at 24 or 25? Sure, but if the Steelers identified that as their guy then go ahead and take him when you can. So for that, it was a good pick.

Now, was it the pick that we all wanted to see?

Well, that’s another story.




Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as four Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa, XLV in Dallas and 50 in San Francisco. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug

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