ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has now released his first mock draft of 2016 and he has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting a defensive back in the first round with the 25th overall selection.
The player? Cornerback Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech.
Kiper writes of the selection:
The Steelers have been a mess on the back end for much of the season, and could add multiple cornerbacks in the draft. (Remember they will get back Senquez Golson, however.) Fuller comes from a line of NFL players (his brother is a cornerback for the Bears) and has tremendous talent. He missed much of 2015 after trying to play through a cartilage injury in his knee, but should be in great shape for the draft process.
With all due respect to Kiper, I will be shocked if the Steelers take a cornerback in the first round this year and especially since it looks like William Gay, Cortez Allen, Antwon Blake, Ross Cockrell, Senquez Golson, and Doran Grant all have decent shots of being on the 2016 53-man roster, even though three of them aren’t curretly under contract for next season. Besides, the Steelers have drafted a cornerback in the first round since Kevin Colbert took over as general manager in 2000. In fact, it’s been 19 years since such an occurrence has taken place in Pittsburgh.
Sure, I know quite a bit about Fuller already thanks to me studying his brother Kyle Fuller a few years ago, but I just don’t see him landing in Pittsburgh as we sit here in January. Kendall Fuller only played in three games this past season as he opted for season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee in late September.
In 2014, Kendall Fuller recorded 54 total tackles, 2 interceptions and 14 defensesd passes.
Look for our full breakdown of Kendall Fuller in the coming weeks as part of our annual pre draft coverage.