THE NFL DRAFT IS FINALLY HERE! YAY! That was only slightly fake sarcasm because I’m actually glad it’s here so ESPN isn’t dominated by constant half-baked predictions from guys who are way overpaid year-round to cover a three-day event.
With that said, the Steelers hold the #22 overall pick in the first round and while there are a number of different players they could select, this guy is betting all his money that it is either a cornerback or an edge-rusher. But I guess one never knows what Kevin Colbert has up his sleeve. Anyways, here’s the BurghBoys’ Wishlist/Recommendations for the Steelers on Day 1:
1. OLB Randy Gregory, Nebraska – 6’5″, 235 lbs.
Considered a Top 5 pick just a couple of months ago, Gregory’s stock has fallen more than any prospect because he failed the “Idiot Test” and tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine. Yea he’s immature, he has off the field issues, blah blah blah. I don’t care. When perhaps the most talented player in the draft falls in your lap AND he addresses one of your biggest needs, you don’t pass on him. On the field he has the best combination of athletic ability and skill off the edge and his only weakness is he needs to add a couple pounds so he doesn’t get pushed around against the big boys. Spend two weeks in the weight room with James Harrison and he’ll be a freak of nature. The Steelers need to go with the best talent available and he just might fall to #22 in the form of Randy Gregory.
2. CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State – 6’1″, 186 lbs.
I’m just gonna say it, the Steelers have the worst group of cornerbacks in the NFL. Not one of the worst, they have the WORST. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Antwon Blake fan after watching him fight last year, but I’d like him better if he was #3 on the depth chart. Unless Gregory falls to us, this pick needs to be a corner. I trust any player who’s been coached by Narduzzi and Waynes is widely regarded as the best CB in the draft. I don’t see him still being available when we’re on the clock, but as long as Gregory’s not on the board he should be the pick.
3. CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest – 6’0′, 188 lbs.
Gonna be honest, didn’t project Wake Forest as having any player with 1st Round ability, but everything I’ve read about this guy says he is a beast. He seems to have all the talent, skill, and mental ability to play on Week 1 and he is reportedly rising up draft boards quickly. While I’d be ecstatic to get Gregory or Waynes, Johnson would be a phenomenal addition to the secondary at #22.
4. CB Marcus Peters, Washington – 6’0″, 197 lbs.
Peters falls under the same “off field issues” category as Gregory, as he was kicked off the Washington team for repeated arguments with coaches. That honestly is way more of a red flag than a little marijuana and some character flaws. However, Peters is probably the most talented corner in the draft and would start from Day 1 if he got his head on straight. I watched a little tape of Peters and he is the type of guy who gets in your face on the line and shit talks you from the first whistle. He’s big, he’s physical, and he’s just straight up mean on the field. The Steelers could certainly use a guy like that and he would be perfect for AFC Central dog fights.
5. CB Byron Jones, Connecticut – 6’1″, 196 lbs.
While Connecticut was one of the most atrocious, god-awful football teams in the nation this fall, Byron Jones is actually a stud at corner. He dominated the NFL Combine, including setting the world-record for the broad jump. He is a freakish athletic specimen, but also has more than enough knowledge and skill to be a great corner in the NFL. Any of the four cornerbacks listed here would be fantastic additions for the Steelers and new defensive coordinator Keith Butler. All we can do now is sit and wait and hope that Kevin Colbert doesn’t fuck this pick up. Fingers crossed.