As hard as this may sound, the possibility of multiple quarterbacks being taken in the first round of the NFL Draft should help the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The formula is simple. If teams panic, and select the quarterbacks higher than their ability warrants, Pittsburgh and other teams benefit. We all know the organizations in the bottom half of the draft order will monitor closely what happens once the first signal caller is taken. What the league could have is a domino effect.
In this case, defense of players, who are slotted to be draft higher, should fall at Pittsburgh’s feet. Should that happen, Steelers brass may come away with a steal to help the team’s defensive needs.
Pittsburgh is one of those teams that when’s the NFL Draft every single year. Scouting, research, making the right moves. Even taking players towards the bottom of the first round, this team gets it. So do the New England Patriots, so do the Green Bay Packers.
This year should be no different.
Look for the Pittsburgh Steelers to go heavy on defense, and fill needs for depth in the future. At some point, this team may take Ben Roethlisberger successor, as I explained in my first look at this teams mock draft. Don’t look for it to happen in the first round, but after that, all bets are off.
The Steelers have needs on the defensive line, at linebacker and in the secondary. I think it’s a safe bet this team will secure players to improve its core once the NFL Draft becomes a reality.
Here is my second shot at predicting the Pittsburgh Steelers three-round mock draft.
Round One, Pick 30 – Zach Cunningham, Linebacker, Vanderbilt
Nice size at 6-foot-3 and 234 pounds. Plays outside, but I could see him moving inside for the Pittsburgh Steelers in their scheme. Has good speed for his position and will cover a tight end over the middle or help with run defense.
The best thing about Cunningham is he attacks his opponent instead of waiting for the play to develop.
Round Two, Pick 62 – Teez Tabor, Cornerback, Florida
Tabor lost money with a slow 40-time at his Pro Day. There is the tape from the last three seasons at Florida. We all know he can play this game. Look for Tabor to fall here and find the right fit. He is cocky and brash but can tackle and intercept passes. Artie Burns and Tabor are the beginning of a solid young secondary in Pittsburgh.
Round Three, Pick 94 – Jaleel Johnson, Defensive Tackle, Iowa
The type of player that fits the Steelers mold, Thick and solid. A run stuffer in the middle of the line. A hard-working lineman from the Big Ten. From the middle of the Hawkeyes line, he recorded 7.5 sacks and had 10 tackles for loss.
He will be a solid building block for the future of this defense.
Round Three, Pick 105 (compensatory pick) – Kendell Beckwith, Linebacker, LSU
He is an injury concern, but if healthy, Beckwith is a first or second round talent who just fell to the right team. Above all, Beckwith is huge at 6-foot-2 and 243 pounds. He will play inside and help with run defense. He was a leader in the locker room as a three-year starter.
The Pittsburgh Steelers can be patient with him to make sure he is healthy. He was leading the team with 91 tackles, six for loss, before tearing his left ACL against Florida.