Now that cornerback Ike Taylor has decided to retire from football after 12 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he has a lot more time to dedicate to his potential broadcasting career. Taylor, who has never been shy about giving his opinion on the draft and who he believes the Steelers should take, was allowed to make the Steelers first-round pick in a mock draft that the Dave Dameshek Football Podcast is currently holding.
Taylor has the Steelers taking a cornerback with the 22nd overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
“I don’t feel like I have to take a corner in the first round if I’m the Pittsburgh Steelers because usually over history we don’t,” started Taylor. “We usually go third, fourth or second and fourth, because they like to get two corners in the draft if they’re going to do it. But if they do go for a corner, I’m going top go with Jalen Collins from LSU.
“And the reason why I’m going with Jalen Collins from LSU is because that SEC is NFL-ready when they come down to challenging receivers, coming up on run support, playing in big stadiums. I mean, his stadium that he plays in, is probably one of the biggest stadiums in college football.”
One of the knocks on Jalen Collins is the fact that he only started 10 games during his college career, but NFL Network draft analyst Bucky Brooks addressed that concern after Taylor selected the young LSU product.
“I know a lot of people would ding him for only having 10 career starts, but that’s fine,” said Brooks. “Some of the best players in the league didn’t play a lot early in their collegiate careers, but found success. He reminds my of Antonio Cromartie, when you think about his career arc and trajectory. Antonio Cromartie only started four games during his time at Florida State. Was injured didn’t play his last year, came in the league and immediately becomes a Pro Bowler. Long, rangy, has ball skills. Yeah, he’s a guy that sometimes his technique gets a little sideways, but that’s ok. He’s so athletic, he can make up for it.”
The Steelers were present for LSU’s March Pro Day and head coach Mike Tomlin made sure to dine with Collins, who was unable to workout because of a recent surgery on his foot, the night before that event. Collins has yet to be brought in for a pre-draft visit, but there’s still time for that to happen.
Collins registered just three interceptions and 25 pass breakups during his college career that included him seeing action in 39 total games.