I try to stay calm for anything Pittsburgh Steelers related. It doesn’t always happen but I want to be clear-headed, rational, objective.
But at the end of tonight, it was hard not to be a little giddy.
For as much maligned as the selection of Artie Burns was, certainly not a horrible pick but not one universally loved, the selections of Sean Davis and Javon Hargrave were equally praised.
This is the draft. It means squat for a player’s career. We’ve seen first rounders bust. Seventh rounders flourish. But the Steelers took two guys who check off every box you want to start with. Big. Physical. Athletic. Productive. Scheme versatile.
What more could you want?
Davis played more corner in 2015 but largely has a background at safety and as Carnell Lake confirmed, will begin his football career there opposite Mike Mitchell. He blazed a 4.46 at the Combine, jumped 37.5 inches, and turned in a 3.97/6.64 in his agility drills. The only safety to meet our cornerback criteria. A 40 game starter, he forced five fumbles a year ago. He hits like it’s the last contact he’ll have in his career.
Hargrave dominated the FCS level. That’s something you’d hope for from any player but especially from a team like Pittsburgh who has been so shy from taking from this pool. At 309 pounds, he ran a sub 4.95 40 and jumped 34.5 inches at the Combine. For his squatty, bubble-butt frame, that’s a big man moving. The production was unreal: 29.5 sacks over the last two seasons.
He’ll be able to play – perhaps start – at the nose in the team’s base and stay on the field in sub-package and third down football. That was critical and something Mike Tomlin had clearly put out there during the offseason.
Their NFL futures are unknown. But Pittsburgh did everything right today.