With Free Agency fully underway, it seems as if the Steelers
have already set their eyes on the draft to fill in the holes on this team.
Here is my go at what I think the Steeler’s should do. Two notes, first is we
already signed an ILB, I think we add a WR and S depth pieces before the draft.
Second note, just to make it fun, the Steelers trade back with the Tampa Bay
Buc’s. They get our first round pick and we get their second and third. The
Steelers are in a rough spot at 28, as it seems most ILB’s will be off the
board and S has more value in the second day of the draft. Trading back nets
another high pick which will be key to helping us next year. The Buc’s could be
moving up for a DT like Hurst or even a RB like Guice before he is opened up to
the rest of the league.
Round 2 (From Buc’s)- Justin Reid, S:
After the signing of Bostic, the Steelers have a starter at
both S and ILB so they don’t have to reach for either position. Luckily for the
Steelers, Reid is a stout cover safety which should take some pressure off of
Davis who is more of a run stopper. Reid would be able to supplement Wilcox and
Davis while honing his skills. Hopefully he will be able to take over Wilcox’s
spot as the season progresses.
Round 2- Mike Gesicki, TE
The Steelers have shown some major interest at TE, and
Gesicki is what the Steelers have been trying to find in a TE. McDonald is a
great blocker with underrated athleticism, while James is a late career clone
of Heath Miller. He also only has one year left on his deal and seems unlikely
to receive a second contract. Gesicki could function as a utility piece behind
these two, specifically in the redzone, while also serving as insurance if the
injury bug strikes. Next year he can serve as the starter or number two.
Round 3 (from Buc’s)- Lorenzo Carter, OLB
Even with ILB now being the largest need, OLB provides more
value here. With Moats gone and Dupree not living up to his potential, new
bodies are needed to drive up competition. Adams, last years 7th
round pick, can came in and vye for a back-up spot, but Carter gives the team
even more flexibility, Carter can sit behind Dupree and either supplement him
or take over his spot if Dupree continues to disappoints.
Round 3- Shaquem Griffin, ILB
As athletic and explosive Griffin is, he is in now way ready
to start. That being said, he is as close to Shazier as you are going to get.
He is a twitch athlete but is still raw for the position. He can easily serve
as the number three ILB and even come in for some passing downs. Ideally he can
develop into a quality starter on the defense.
Round 5 (from San Fran)- Allen Lazard, WR
There are a lot of 5th round receivers I like and
could envision the Steelers drafting (specifically Wilson from Bosie St and
Ateman from Oklahoma). I went with Lazard though do his completely raw talent.
He is tall and has supreme athleticism for a player his size. He also gets the
benefit of not having any expectations his rookie season, as Bryant, Brown, and
JuJu have the top three spots locked down. Next year once Bryant leaves though,
he could have a good shot of taking over his spot. Worse comes to worse, he
should be able to be used as a redzone threat.
Round 5- Taron Johnson, CB
While we finally have some stability at our CB position,
with the release of Gay, we have a developmental spot wide open. This was held
by Allen last year, but I feel like he will begin working on ST along with some
spot defensive playing time. While Johnson would likely not play his rookie
season, he provides another body in case of injury. On top of that, he was
highly athletic and has great developmental potential. A few years down the
road he could be a starter if he develops well.
Round 7 (from NYG)- Joshua Frazier, NT
Frazier didn’t play much at ‘Bama, but he is a moldable
piece of clay. He also played under our new D-line coach and had dinner with
the Steelers. Ideally, he can develop into a rotational run stuffing D-linemen.
Round 7- Martez Carter, RB:
The Steeler’s target a RB to round out their draft. At this
point, looking for a role playing RB makes sense. Carter isn’t in any way a
feature back, but he has great athleticism and pass catching abilities. He
reminds me a lot of Darron Sproles, and could have a similar role with the Steelers.
He can compete as a KR/PR and when Bell leaves next year serve as the 3rd