NFL Draft

Day Two Draft Options For The Pittsburgh Steelers

It was a crazy first round of the NFL Draft. And Day Two could be just as wild after the Pittsburgh Steelers shockingly dealt Martavis Bryant to the Oakland Raiders. That in mind, here are some Day Two options the team could be targeting. Of course, these are not all the options either.

Wide Receiver

Anthony Miller/Memphis

Why It Could Happen: Miller is lauded for his route running with big play ability, racking up 29 touchdowns and averaging over 15 yards per catch the last two years. There’s an obvious Memphis connection with so many of those guys on the Steelers staff (Randy Fichtner, Keith Butler) and Fichtner attended the Tigers’ Pro Day.

Dante Pettis/Washington

Why It Could Happen: Pettis is another dynamic receiver. But not only on offense but on special teams. He was one of college football’s best return men. He returned punts all four seasons, averaging an absurd 14.2 yards per return and NINE punt return touchdowns, including four in 2017. Hopefully he can do kicks too (never did it in school) and become that multi-threat player.

DaeSean Hamilton/Penn State

Why It Could Happen: One of the best, some would argue the best, route runner in the draft. Hands are a little suspect but new WR coach Darryl Drake doesn’t seem to care about his receivers being quite as technical as Richard Mann may have demanded. High character, another family-first guy (check out this amazing feature story on helping take care of his brother who has autism), and Kevin Colbert attended Penn State’s Pro Day to probably get another good look at him. Possible plug ‘n play in the slot with JuJu Smith-Schuster likely moving outside to fill Bryant’s void.

James Washington/Oklahoma State

Why It Could Happen: Didn’t test like Martavis Bryant but he is a similar deep threat who averaged over 20 yards per catch. Tomlin/Colbert at his Pro Day and reportedly had dinner with him. Learned plenty about him not only in his evaluation but all their interest in QB Mason Rudolph.

J’Mon Moore/Missouri

Why It Could Happen: A little more “out of the box” but we all saw what happened in Round One. Again, not the fastest 40 but a vertical threat who tested like one of the best athletes at his position (4.6 40 but a 38 inch vert, 10’0″ broad, 6.56 three cone at 207 pounds). Finds the ball downfield and a high effort blocker who could play all three positions.

D.J. Chark/LSU

Why It Could Happen: Height, weight, speed guy that the Steelers showed interest in at the Senior Bowl. He has a very solid character and the Steelers did attend the LSU pro day. While raw, he can stretch the field.

Defensive Line

B.J. Hill/NT NC State

Why It Could Happen: Brought in for a visit, Art Rooney II brought up the team’s inconsistent run defense. I wouldn’t love the pick but won’t discount it either. 23.5 TFL, 8 sacks in his career.

Inside Linebacker

Fred Warner/BYU

Why It Could Happen: Younger than most BYU players, only 21 years old, and a good athlete who had a nice week at the Senior Bowl (where the team reportedly interviewed him). Potential Mack linebacker. Solid production throughout his career.

Malik Jefferson/Texas

Why It Could Happen: Brought in for a visit. Another stellar athlete who is good enough versus the run. High quality of competition. 13 career sacks too, a number that I am sure is attractive for the Steelers who like all their linebackers to be able to get after the QB.

Genard Avery/Memphis

Why It Could Happen: Again, the Memphis connection. Inside/outside versatility and – no surprise here – a quality athlete. Whopping 44.5 TFL, 21.5 sacks, the latter of which he had 8.5 as a senior.

Uchenna Nwosu/USC

Why It Could Happen: The Lynn Swann/Trojan connection that helped the team take Smith-Schuster, even without very little overt interest (just a Combine interview). Nwosu, like Avery, could play inside and then kick to the edge when need be. Productive career who may not have incredible upside but a little more technical, a little more NFL-ready than some of the others.

Shaquem Griffin/UCF

Why It Could Happen: This would have shades of drafting James Conner last year. Griffin, like Conner, is more than just a good story. Like Terrell Edmunds, I can see Tomlin/Colbert talk about all the ways you can get him on the field. And you know he’s driven to succeed.

Cornerback

M.J. Stewart & Duke Dawson/North Carolina & Florida

Why It Could Happen: Lumping these two together because they are similar guys with similar reasons. Both brought in for a visit. Both can play in the nickel. Physical, hard hitters and good blitzers. Wouldn’t love either pick, prefer Stewart over Dawson, but it’s on the table.

 

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