Over the weekend the Steelers’ staff was likely keeping a close eye on all of the pass rushers as the NFL combine in Indianapolis.
The good news is this years class looks to be a strong one at the edge rusher position. The bad news is I think that 5 of them come off the board before the Steelers’ pick at 22.
Randy Gregory, Shane Ray, Dante Fowler, Vic Beasley, and Alvin Dupree are all talented athletes and pass rushers that would be a great pick at 22, but I think all will be gone by the Steelers’ pick.
As I’m writing this, the cornerbacks are working out in Indianapolis. I think this cornerback class is a little thin, with only two names not being a reach at 22.
Trae Waynes of Michigan State who may not fit a zone-heavy scheme, and Marcus Peters formerly of Washington who many teams have taken off their board for attitude problems.
I think there’s a good chance Waynes is gone by the 22nd pick, and the Steelers won’t be interested in Peters.
Now the question becomes, do you reach for one of those positions and take a guy like CB Kevin Johnson or OLB Eli Harold?
I don’t believe that’s the case… I think if the team would start looking at lesser positions of need and go with the best player available.
Potentially an offensive lineman like Andrus Pear or La’el Collins?
A safety like Landon Collins to push starters Mike Mitchell and Shamarko Thomas?
A future safety/linebacker hybrid (like #43) in Shaq Thompson?
Maybe even the heir apparent to Heath Miller in Maxx Williams.
I think that the first thing the Steelers would do is try and move down, but that’s not always easy. Just don’t be shocked in May if the Steelers (like last year) take a player nobody is talking about when their pick is in.