Back at the beginning of March, I tried to take a stab at guessing what the top 15 players on the Steelers big board would look like. Take a look here if you missed it.
That was written close to two months ago, which when looking at draft stock is an eternity. At the time I thought there was no question 3 quarterbacks would be off the board before 15, maybe even 4…
Unfortunately for the Steelers it now looks like 2 Quarterbacks are expected to go in the top half of the round (but who knows).
So, now that all the workouts have been seen, interviews been conducted, and tapes been watched; here is my best guess of the Steelers’ Big Board.
1. Jadaveon Clowney
Best player in this draft, and maybe the best prospect since Andrew Luck.
2. Sammy Watkins
Really great in many areas. He’d fit the Steelers dink and dunk scheme, but also has some of the size fans want.
3. Greg Robinson
The Rooneys might dance in the war room if they grabbed Robinson because he’d bring smash-mouth football back to the offense. Not as safe as Matthews, but ceiling is all-pro level.
4. Jake Matthews
Despite faith in Beachum, you just can’t pass on a plug and play left tackle. Matthews is much safer (and will be better) than either of the top 2 tackles in the 2013 draft.
5. Mike Evans
Huge target that is used to playing with a QB that buys time in the pocket. Evans would finally fill the void that Plaxico Burress left years ago.
6. Khalil Mack
Mack isn’t a typical 3-4 OLB, but he’s a terror of a football player. Figuring out how to play him with Jones and Worilds would be a good problem to have.
7. Odell Beckham Jr.
Don’t be surprised if a team makes a big move to grab him before the Steelers pick. Beckham is an NFL ready receiver, and a perfect for the Todd Haley’s offense.
8. Justin Gilbert
Gilbert has a high bust risk, but he’s a long, fluid, athlete that has the tools to be a shutdown corner and play maker. Steelers would need to be confident Coach Lake can turn him into a football player.
9. Darquenze Dennard
Technique is much better than Gilbert, but lower ceiling. Also question marks if he can play off-man coverage which Steelers have historically played a lot of.
10. Taylor Lewan
Some character red flags, but generally considered a top 10 talent. Again, not a huge need, but if he’s there and the other guys are off the board he’d be a very sold pick.
11. Anthony Barr
Consider Barr the Justin Gilbert of LB prospects. Barr could be Demarcus Ware, or he could be Aaron Maybin.
12. Eric Ebron
Exceptional athlete, some issues with drops. Seems the fans like him more than the Steelers do based on not much interest shown publicly from Steelers. Would need to be utilized creatively to maximize potentional.
13. Kyle Fuller
Another talented player that I’m not sure the Steelers have checked into much (publicly anyway), but on the surface seems underrated and like a great fit for their scheme.
14. Ryan Shazier
A lightning fast linebacker that excels in pass coverage. He jumps ahead of C.J. Mosley who has some injury red flags.
15. Ra’Shede Hageman
Monster defensive lineman that could plat multiple positions and is a 3 down player.
I’m still confident the Steelers will come away with a good value pick. On my list though, I would say that if the top 12 are gone, that’s when I’d guess they start working the phones to move down.