The Pittsburgh Steelers selected a cornerback during the first round of Thursday night’s draft and while we may never know for sure, the team may have wound up drafting Houston’s William Jackson III had he not been picked one spot ahead of them by the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals took Jackson 24th overall and you have to wonder if they would have gone wide receiver had one of the top-rated ones fell to them in the first round. Jackson said he thought the Steelers were going to pick him as well.
WJ3: Says he definitely thought the Steelers were coming for him. By all accounts, #Bengals swiped him from the rival.
— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) April 29, 2016
While the Steelers did spend time with their eventual pick, Miami cornerback Artie Burns, during his pro day earlier this month, they did the same with Jackson during his school’s annual event. Neither player, however, made a pre-draft visit to Pittsburgh as far as we know.
Several major media draft analysts had Jackson rated higher than Burns heading into Thursday night and after the Bengals took the former one spot ahead of the Steelers, several people, including myself, speculated the team would wind up drafting Baylor defensive lineman Andrew Billings. The Steelers, however, wasted no time selecting Burns as the draft card appeared to be turned in immediately after the Bengals made their selection.
With Jackson and Burns going back-to-back, you can bet the Steelers fan base will be monitoring the careers of both players very carefully moving forward and especially being as the Bengals are the other team involved.
During their college careers Burns registered 7 total interceptions while Jackson had 8 of them. Burns, however, is the younger of the two as he will turn 21 on May 1st. Jackson, on the other hand, will turn 24 in October.