Not that it means much of anything but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote on Wednesday that he can very much see the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting a cornerback in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He writes:
The Steelers are looking long and hard at corners and seem to like enough of what they see to make me agree with those mocking them with a defensive back.
Well, that’s not much of a nugget and especially when you consider that none of the top-rated cornerbacks in this year’s draft class have been brought in for pre-draft visits so far. Now, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin both attended the pro days of all of the top-rated cornerbacks in this year’s class and made sure to spend quite a bit of time with Houston cornerback William Jackson III so I guess that might be what La Canfora is basing his analysis off of.
Most of the cornerbacks that the Steelers have already brought in for pre-draft visits figure to be drafted between rounds three and five. Additionally, all of them are entering the draft after their senior years and as I pointed out recently, the Steelers have a long history of not drafting underclassmen cornerbacks.
Based on the Steelers historical draft data and fit, Jackson is the only cornerback I can see them drafting in the first round this year being as Vernon Hargreaves III, Eli Apple and Mackensie Alexander are all underclassmen. Jackson, however, might not still be on the board come the Steelers 25th overall selection. With the draft now almost two weeks away, we don’t have long to wait to see if La Canfora and others are ultimately right.
Here is another “nugget” that La Canfora provided underneath the Steelers heading.
Count me among those who believes one safety other than versatile safety/corner Jalen Ramsey ends up sneaking into the first round as well (Ohio State safety Vonn Bell was the safety several scouts pointed to as a rising player), and count me among those who believe that Virginia Tech corner Kyle Fuller ends up going on Day 1 of the draft as well.
Jalen Ramsey sneaking into the first round? I think it will be more surprising if he sneaks out of the top-ten as he’s long been regarded as an early first-round draft pick. While Vonn Bell is a talented player, I will be a bit surprised if he winds up being drafted in the first round. As for Kyle Fuller, like Bell, I will be surprised to hear his name called during the first round of the draft.
In short, while I’m not sure if La Canfora was pressed for time when he wrote up these “nuggets”, it certainly appears as though he mailed his latest offering in.